Ebby Halliday founded what is today Texas’ largest, independently-owned residential real estate company, helping countless people realize the dream of owning a home.
But it was hats that kicked off the Ebby Halliday Realtors empire 65 years ago. Born March 9, 1911, Halliday began her career during the Great Depression, selling women’s hats. In 1945, a housing developer became a fan of her salesmanship — though not her products. He reckoned if she could sell those “crazy” hats, maybe she could find buyers for 52 hard-to-sell — and even harder-to-finance — concrete houses built on the old Walnut Hill Golf Course in North Dallas. Halliday accepted the challenge and successfully sold all the houses.
Today, Ebby Halliday Realtors includes 30 offices and approximately 1,600 real estate agents. It is the 10th largest real estate firm in the United States.
Halliday, who at nearly 99 years of age continues to drive herself to work, made her name as one of the first successful female entrepreneurs in Dallas. She has earned commendations from many in the Dallas business and real estate industries. She has continually given back to the community she loves, earning the Horatio Alger Award in 2005 from the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans. One of her proudest achievements came in 2008, when at age 97, she was named honorary chair of the National Association of Realtors’ 100th anniversary Gala Black Tie Dinner.
Ebby Halliday: The First Lady of Real Estate, Ebby’s biography, was released in 2009.