Arnold Palmer (September 10, 1929 – September 25, 2016) was an American professional golfer….who is generally regarded as one of the greatest and most charismatic players in the sport’s history….when dating back to 1955, he won numerous events on both the PGA Tour and the circuit now known as PGA Tour Champions (prior Seniors Tour). Nicknamed The King, he was one of golf’s most popular stars and seen as a trailblazer….and widely considered the first superstar of the sport’s television age, which began in the 1950’s.
Palmer’s social impact on behalf of golf was perhaps unrivaled among fellow professionals….as his humble background and plain-spoken popularity helped change the perception of golf from an elite, upper-class pastime (private clubs) to a more populist sport accessible to middle and working classes (public courses)…..whereas The King, Jack Nicklaus, and Gary Player were “The Big Three” in golf during the 1960’s…..and are widely credited with popularizing and commercializing the sport around the world.
In a career spanning more than six decades, he won 62 PGA Tour titles from 1955 to 1973….and he is fifth on the Tour’s all-time victory list….while trailing only Tiger Woods, Sam Snead, Jack Nicklaus, and Ben Hogan. Arnie won seven major titles in a six-plus-year domination from the 1958 Masters to the 1964 Masters. He also won the PGA Tour Lifetime Achievement Award in 1998….and in 1974 was one of the 13 original inductees into the World Golf Hall of Fame.