AKRON—With his father serving as golf pro and Latrobe (Pa.) Country Club superintendent, Arnold Palmer was destined to take up the game of golf. At the age of 4, he was swinging his first set of clubs. He won his first of five West Penn Amateur Championships when he was 17. In 1954 he won the U.S. Amateur Championship and turned pro.
The golf legend won 13 PGA events in his first five years on the tour and had an almost unimaginable streak of 29 wins from 1960 to 1963.
From 1954 to 1994, Mr. Palmer won 92 championships and amassed more than $5 million in winnings along with netting numerous awards, including the Sports Illustrated Sportsman of Year (1960), Golfer of Decade (1958-1967), Golfer of Century, Ambassador of Golf Award and the PGA of America Distinguished Service Award.
But what makes Mr. Palmer such an endearing figure is his humble personality both on and off the golf course. His generosity helped him add the following awards and honors to his resume:
Partner in Science Award, March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation;
Theodore Roosevelt Award, National Collegiate Athletic Association;
Eagle on World Award, Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of New York;
Good Guy Award, American Legion National Commanders;
Business Leaders Award, Northwood Institute; and
The Community Service Award, from his hometown Latrobe Chamber of Commerce.