Ebby Halliday

Dallas real estate icon Ebby Halliday died today at the age of 104.

Her 70-year-old company is the largest private real estate company in Texas and 10th largest in the country.

Texas oilman Clint Murchison gave Halliday her start. She was selling hats at W.A. Green’s, the store across the street from Neiman Marcus in downtown Dallas.

Murchison had built 50 insulated concrete houses and his wife recommended her hat saleswoman to sell them.

“If you can sell those crazy hats to my wife, maybe you can sell my crazy houses,” Murchison told her.

She founded her company, Ebby Halliday Realtors, in 1945 as a one-woman shop. Today, the company has 1,700 sales people. Last year, the company sold more than 19,000 properties worth more than $6.6 billion, according to the company website.

Halliday always contributed to the city.

Two of her major projects in 2014 were Ebby’s Place, the YWCA’s women’s center, and The Ebby House, Juliette Fowler Communities’ transitional community for young women who have aged out of foster care.

Halliday served as president of Thanksgiving Square Foundation and served on boards of St. Paul Medical Foundation, the Communities Foundation of Texas, The Dallas County Community College District Foundation and the Better Business Bureau and was active with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra Guild and the State Fair of Texas.

She’ll be remembered for launching the careers of so many in the LGBT community.