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Celebrating the Life of North Texas Pioneer, Ebby Halliday

Ebby with Tom Thumb founder Robert B. Collum, receiving the Easterwood Cup Award in February 1965 from MetroTex Association of Realtors. Photo courtesy of Dallas Morning News.

Dallas real estate mogul Ebby Halliday passed away peacefully in her sleep Tuesday, September 8, Dallas Morning News reports. At 104, she leaves leaves behind a legacy of entrepreneurship, philanthropy and community involvement that has touched thousands of lives across the globe.

While Ebby began her first business at just 8 years old in her small hometown of Abilene, Kansas, her entrepreneurial spirit carried her all the way to Dallas during the Great Depression and led her to partner with Texas oilman Clint Murchison to sell her first homes. Ebby Halliday Realty was founded in 1945, and today it’s the largest independently owned residential real estate service in the state, ranking 10th in the nation and employing over 1,700 sales associates.

Ebby at the dedication of Ebby Halliday Elementary School on her 101st birthday. Photo courtesy of Dallas Morning News.

Ebby was involved with many charitable organizations, including the Dallas Symphony Orchestra Guild, United Way, the State Fair of Texas and the boards of the Communities Foundation of Texas, the Dallas County Community College District Foundation, Thanksgiving Square Foundation and the Better Business Bureau. She was also an immense supporter of bettering the position of women in the workplace, and advocated for the natural salesmanship of women when opening her first real estate offices in North Texas.

Mary Frances Burleson, president and CEO of The Ebby Halliday Companies, started as Ebby’s secretary and worked her way up by watching Halliday.

Burleson said today: “While we grieve the loss of Ebby, our legendary founder and my friend and mentor for over 50 years, we celebrate a long life well lived. Each of us who had the good fortune of knowing Ebby has been touched by the grace, fortitude and compassion with which she lived her life. Ebby had a very simple saying that she lived by: ‘Do something for someone every day.’”

Burleson spoke to local radio station 1080 KRLD about Ebby this morning. The interview can be heard below.

The North Texas Commission extends its deepest condolences to Ebby’s family and friends, but we’re proud of the legacy of a true North Texas hero.

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