Today The Dallas Morning News sent a push notification: Real estate mogul Ebby Halliday had died in her sleep at age 104.
That a large newspaper considers this a breaking news event speaks volumes about the importance and impact of this woman, who took a natural aptitude for sales and turned it into an empire.
Halliday, known by most everyone as just “Ebby,” had her first job at age 8 selling salve, worked to support her family during the Great Depression, opened her own hat boutique and then went on to found what has become the largest independent residential real estate services company in Texas — and the 10th largest in the U.S.
Halliday was known for her generosity of spirit as much as her entrepreneurial savvy. She blazed the trail as a female business owner and helped other women along the way. As her company states:
“Over the years, Ebby opened the doors to successful careers for thousands of people; in particular for women at a time when opportunities were limited.”
Halliday was a shrewd businesswoman, but she retained a sweetness that won the hearts of those who met her. “She just knew how to make you feel at home and at ease, no matter where you were,” writes Candace Evans of the Dallas real estate site Candy’s Dirt. “I think that’s because Ebby was so genuine. She truly loved people and she loved real estate.”
Halliday also played the ukulele and was still driving herself to work each day, always in a suit, as she approached 100 years old. May this Gutsy Broad rest in peace, and may she inspire other women to live with purpose, focus and gusto.