Grab your cameras, Dallas, as the skyline will glow “Ebby Red” tonight as the city remembers one of its beloved icons, Ebby Halliday Acers.
Landmarks to be lit in Ebby’s trademark shade of rouge include the Bank of America building, Reunion Tower, The Joule, KPMG Plaza at Hall Arts, One Arts Plaza, and both the Winspear Opera House and Wyly Theatre.
Other buildings have said that they, too, will celebrate Dallas’ “first lady of real estate” tonight, Sept. 16, as a way to shed light on the incredible impact Ebby made on Dallas.
Ebby Halliday Acers, whose impact on the residential real estate industry and her adopted hometown of Dallas are unsurpassed, passed away September 8 at the age of 104.
Ebby stepped off a train in downtown Dallas in 1938, having been transferred to the growing city from Omaha, Neb., by a millinery company. Having grown up on a farm, Ebby was amazed at what she saw in her new hometown.
Throughout her life, Ebby would often reminisce about her arrival in Dallas, “I just loved the vibrancy of the city. I truly thought I had died and gone to heaven,” she would remark.
Ebby’s first job was downtown at the W.A. Green store. The store’s faded sign is still visible today – next to the famous contemporary sculpture “Eye,” between Main and Commerce.
In 1945, Ebby founded Ebby Halliday, REALTORS®. Today, the Dallas-based company is the largest independently owned residential real estate services company in Texas and ranks 10th in the nation.
In addition to the real estate business, Ebby’s other great passion was service to the community she proudly called home. She and her company’s philanthropic impact on North Texas cannot be overstated. In 2014 alone, the YWCA of Metropolitan Dallas announced Ebby’s Place, which houses the new YW Women’s Center, and Juliette Fowler Communities announced The Ebby House, a transitional community for young women who have aged out of foster care.
Ebby was a tireless volunteer for the community she loved. She served as president of the Thanksgiving Square Foundation and on the boards of the St. Paul Medical Foundation, the Communities Foundation of Texas, The Dallas County Community College District Foundation and the Better Business Bureau. Among the many organizations in which Ebby was active was the Alexis de Tocqueville Society for United Way, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra Guild and the State Fair of Texas. She served as president of the North Dallas Chamber of Commerce and the Greater Dallas Planning Council and on the Dallas Park and Recreation Board.
Throughout her life, Ebby’s dedication to her profession and her fellow man remained constant. This dedication is clearly evidenced in the many honors – too many to name here – that she received as a result of her civic and professional endeavors.
Perhaps the crowning achievement of her life, Ebby Halliday was a member of The Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans. The Association bears the name of the renowned author Horatio Alger, Jr., whose tales of overcoming adversity through unyielding perseverance and basic moral principles captivated the public in the late 19th century. Dedicated to the simple but powerful belief that hard work, honesty and determination can conquer all obstacles, the Association honors the achievements of outstanding individuals who have succeeded in spite of adversity and who are committed to supporting young people in pursuit of increased opportunities through higher education.
“Be honest, touch people’s lives, look at people when you talk to them, don’t criticize the competition and do something nice for someone every day,” Ebby often stated. These simple, yet eloquent words, were at the very heart of Ebby’s approach to doing business and to life.
That small bit of wisdom served Ebby very, very well.