It seems a shame that most people will now know Margaret McDermott because of a single, double-arched bridge across the Trinity River, the one that bears her name. It’s a shame because, odds are, she probably has affected your life, the lives of most North Texans, in so many ways they don’t even know.
“The canvas for Margaret McDermott was the entire city,” says Gail Thomas, the retired head of the Trinity Trust and a longtime friend of McDermott. “Amazingly, in some way, she has helped every non-profit in this town.”
McDermott, who died Thursday, was born in 1912 and grew up in Highland Park, when, as she recalled, there were few trees and she participated in rough-and-tumble bicycle races on the sometimes unfinished streets. After graduating from the University of Texas and working in newspaper journalism, she would spend her life transforming Dallas.