Legendary Golfer Arnold Palmer Passes Away at 87

Legendary golfer Arnold Palmer passed away in Pittsburgh on Sunday at 87.

Palmer came of age as a golfer when television came of age as a medium, which helped elevate his popularity. He won his first tour event in 1955 at the Canadian Open. His last came at the Bob Hope Classic in 1973.

In between, Palmer won seven major championships. He donned the green jacket at the Masters in 1958, 1960, 1962, and 1964. He won back-to-back British Opens in 1961 and 1962. He captured the U.S. Open in 1960. Only the PGA Championship eluded him among the big four.

Palmer won the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2004 and the Congressional Gold Medal in 2009. Atop his massive legacy in golf, he bequeaths the lemonade-iced tea hybrid the Arnold Palmer, a favorite drink of recovering alcoholics and people who just can’t decide between the two refreshing cold drinks.

Palmer emerged as a popular pitchman in his retirement, recently appearing, for instance, in Xarelto commercials with comedian Kevin Nealon, basketball star Chris Bosh, and NASCAR driver Brian Vickers. He made exponentially more money annually off of endorsements than he did in his entire career as a golfer. Earning less than $2 million on the PGA Tour, Palmer, according to Forbes, made $42 million in 2014.


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