Happy Birthday, Ebby!

Ebby Halliday lived to see 104 birthdays and once she turned 90 years old each succeeding  milestone was celebrated with more festivities and more grandeur. Ebby’s photographs, scrapbooks, and correspondence document the public adoration of the Queen Mum of Real Estate.

In 2001, for her 90th birthday, the Communities Foundation of Texas honored her with a party featuring a cake which was a remarkable replica of Ebby’s landmark office, the white house at the corner of Preston Road and Northwest Highway.

For her 95th birthday in 2006, Ebby Halliday had an ice cream and birthday cake bash at the Frontiers of Flight Museum at Love Field.

Ebby’s 99th birthday in 2010 was a week-long extravaganza. It began with a Dallas Mavericks game, meeting Dirk Nowitzki and getting an autographed team ball in pre-game ceremonies. The next day, there was a birthday dinner hosted by Ebby’s longtime personal physician Dr. Hugh McClung’s country home in Terrell. After the McClung celebration, a jubilant Ebby was honored by Pointer Sisters at the Winspear Opera House with a concert benefiting Special Care and Career Services. On March 9th, the day of her birthday, Ebby had lunch with T. Boone Pickens and friends at his office, followed by an Ebby Halliday company birthday party. Finally, the following day there was a cake and coffee ceremony in the Flag Room at City Hall, sponsored by Mayor Tom Leppert and the Dallas Regional Chamber.

When Ebby hit the century mark, she famously said, “Go easy on the candles.” Her 100th birthday in 2011 transformed the Meyerson Symphony Center into “Cirque du Ebby” with a circus-themed cocktail reception, a gala dinner, and a concert with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and guest tenor Mario Frangoulis and soprano Andriana Chuchman.

In 2012 for her 101st birthday, Ebby Halliday was celebrated during a dedication ceremony at the school that bears her name, the Ebby Halliday Elementary in the Rylie, Texas.

To celebrate her 102nd birthday in 2013, more than 500 well-wishers – mostly sales associates and staff members of the Ebby Halliday companies dropped by famous Southfork ranch for pancakes and to pay their respects to the First Lady of Dallas Real Estate. 

Her last public celebration was her 103rd birthday in 2014, an intimate fete for local business leaders to celebrate Ebby and get a glimpse of design plans for the YWCA of Metropolitan Dallas’ new headquarters to be named Ebby’s Place.

Along with each celebration came hundreds of birthday cards with best wishes and praise, which Ebby saved and now can be found in the Ebby Halliday Papers.

Project archivist Krishna Shenoy is processing the Ebby Halliday papers thanks to a generous gift of the Ebby Halliday Foundation, to preserve and make accessible the work of the First Lady of Real Estate.

Contact degolyer@smu.edu for additional information or assistance with accessing the collections. For access to these collections or to learn more about the women of the southwest, be sure to visit the DeGolyer Library and check out our books, manuscripts, pamphlets, and photographs.