Babe Zaharias: Greatest Athlete Of All Time?

06/27/11 Robert Lorei
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Good morning, welcome to Radioactivity. I'm Rob Lorei. This year marks the centennial of the birth of one of the greatest athletes of all time: Babe Zaharias. Zaharias lived for a time in Tampa and ran a golf course named after her. This Saturday there will be a celebration of her achievement at the Babe Zaharias Golf Course in north Tampa. Our guest is Pulitzer Prize winning NY Times reporter Don Van Atta, Jr. author of WONDER GIRL: The Magnificent Sporting Life of Babe Didrikson Zaharias (Little, Brown June 2011) is on your radar. Babe was a sports and feminist icon and what would’ve been her 100th birthday is coming up on June 26th. Babe chose to reside in Tampa, and the town of Tampa is holding its first ever Babe Didrikson Celebration Day on June 25 and 26th at the Babe Didrikson Golf Course.

Babe was one of the founders of the LPGA, and she helped pave the way for thousands of female athletes by changing the negative perception of female athletes in the 1920’s and 30s (a time when they were considered by many to be “freak-ish” and at the closing of Babe’s life—her brave and public battle with cancer was unmatchable. This was at a time when most celebrities chose not to disclose their illnesses.

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