FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 27, 2016 - Arnold Palmer, one of the most important figures in golf history, died on September 25, 2016, at a Pittsburgh hospital while awaiting cardiac surgery. He was 87.
Known as “The King,” Palmer played a major role in bringing golf to the masses, catapulting the one-time country club-only sport to the height of popularity it has reached today.
A Latrobe, Pennsylvania, native, Palmer began his love affair with golf at an early age. His father was the greenskeeper at Latrobe Country Club, and the young Palmer would accompany him as he tended to the course.
Palmer, a longtime member of the American Sportscasters Association (ASA), attended Wake Forest College on a golf scholarship and further honed his skills during a stint in the U.S. Coast Guard.
the U.S. amateur in 1954, he decided to turn pro. Palmer's first tour win was during his rookie season in 1955 at the Canadian Open, the first of his 62 titles.
As the television age began to blossom, so did Palmer’s career. His charm and charisma, combined with his powerful stroke, proved to be a recipe for a success for the networks and Palmer, and he soon became the face of the sport.
He went on to win four green jackets at Augusta National, along with the British Open in 1961 and 1962 and the U.S. Open in 1960, perhaps the most memorable of his seven majors. He had many classic battles with fellow ASA member Jack Nicklaus, which became one of golf’s most famous rivalries.
Among his many honors, Palmer was named Sports Illustrated's “Sportsman of the Year” in 1960, was the recipient of the PGA Tour’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 1998 and had the Presidential Medal of Freedom bestowed upon him in 2004.
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