Golf legend Arnold Palmer passed away on Sunday night in Pittsburgh at the age of 87. Befitted with the nickname of “The King,” Palmer earned the esteemed status that many professionals can only dream of attaining.
The explosion of golf across the globe can be attested to the dominance Palmer displayed while in his prime during the 1960s. Born in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, in September 1929, Palmer would go on to attend Wake Forest University (it was then Wake Forest College) before turning pro in 1954. He would go on to have an astounding 52-year professional career, finally retiring in 2006. Over the course of his career, he accrued 95 professional wins, including 10 on the senior tour.
He finished with 62 wins on the PGA Tour during his career, which currently ranks fifth all-time. He won four Masters Tournaments in his career (1958, 1960, 1962, 1964), two Open Championships (1961, 1962) and a U.S. Open Championship (1960) during his prime years of domination.
An inaugural member of the World Golf Hall of Fame in the Class of 1974, it was just one of the numerous honors Palmer had bestowed upon him in his career. The Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year in 1960, PGA Player of the Year in both 1960 and 1962, but none more important than the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2004 and the Congressional Gold Medal in 2009.
Known by some of the younger generation strictly for the half iced tea/half lemonade drink that has gained global dominance, Palmer will truly be a transcendent icon regardless of his affiliation to golf for years to come, even in his death.