The National Association of Realtors has announced the passing of the “First Lady of Real Estate” Ebby Halliday, who died in her sleep on Tuesday night at the grand old age of 104 years.
Halliday shot to fame as the most prominent realtor of her time, founding her company Ebby Halliday REALTORS in 1945 and slowly building it up to become one of the largest real estate firms in the country. However, Halliday's real claim to fame comes from her leadership in the NAR, where RealtorMag says she paved the way for women in leadership roles.
RealtorMag relates the story of Halliday's life, explaining how she began her business career running a hat boutique store before branching into real estate. She built up her small Dallas-based brokerage to become one of the country's largest, with more than 1,700 sales associates now on its books today.
Halliday later became involved in the NAR, serving the organization for over fifty years. In 1957, she sat as president of the Women's Council, before receiving the Texas Association's Realtor of the Year award in 1963. She also received numerous other awards throughout her career, including the NAR's Distinguished Service Award as well as an inductee to the Dallas Business Hall of Fame, and the YWCA's 100 Women 100 Years award.
Halliday's long list of achievements extends to her community involvement too. She was a member of the Alexis de Tocqueville Society for United Way, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra Guild, and the State Fair of Texas, she sat on the Greater Dallas Planning Council and on the Dallas Park and Recreation Boards, and she also served a stint as president of the North Dallas Chamber of Commerce.
"While we grieve the loss of Ebby, our legendary founder, friend and mentor, we celebrate a long life well lived," Mary Frances Burleson, Ebby Halliday Companies CEO, told RealtorMag.
"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.' That small bit of wisdom served Ebby very, very well."