Arnold Palmer Dead: Golf Champion Dies at 87

Arnold Palmer Dead: Golf Champion Dies at 87

Arnold Palmer rides through the crowd during the first round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational Presented by MasterCard at Bay Hill Club and Lodge on March 17, 2016 in Orlando, Florida.

Credit: Chris Trotman/Getty Images

Raise a glass to one of the gentlemen of golf. Seven-time major winner Arnold Palmer died on Sunday, September 25, at the age of 87, a source close to the family confirmed to Golfweek.

One of the most famous athletes in the world, he won 62 times on the PGA Tour and not only became an ambassador for his sport, but also was one of the first sports figures to endorse products, lending his name to everything from his famous namesake drink (a mix of iced tea and lemonade) to tractors.

Known simply as “The King,” he was one of three original inductees into the World Golf Hall of Fame, a founding investor of The Golf Channel and ran an in-demand golf course design company.

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Born in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, Palmer was taught to play the sport by his father, who was head professional and greenskeeper at the local country club. He attended college on a golf scholarship, and served in the U.S. Coast Guard for three years before moving into playing the sport he loved competitively.

His first tour win was in 1955, and Palmer went on to win the U.S. Open, twice won The Open Championship and was a four-time winner of The Masters. He played The Masters for 50 straight years.

He was the first golfer to be awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2004, and was later awarded the Congressional Gold Medal, two of the highest honors that can be awarded to a civilian.

Palmer leaves behind his second wife, Kit, two daughters and six grandchildren, including Sam Saunders, who plays on the PGA Tour.

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