Kit Epstein ’17, Breaking News Managing Editor
Arnold Palmer, four time winner of The Masters Golf Tournament and receiver of the 2004 Presidential Medal of Freedom, died at 87 due to heart complications in Pittsburgh on Sept. 25.
According to CNN, Palmer won more than 90 golf tournaments and inspired hundreds of young golfers to pursue the game. Widely known as the “King of Golf” due to his continued philanthropy and push to make the game more accessible to a wider audience, he was put in the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1974.
Many Staples students and staff were a part of “Arnie’s Army,” Palmer’s honorary fan base.
“I grew up knowing he was the best golfer of all time,” Jonathan Shepro, social studies teacher, said. “He had the ability to continue to give back to the game of golf through his philanthropy and involvement in tournaments. He connected the history of golf to the modern game.”
Palmer’s work extended beyond the golf course. According to The New York Times, he formed the Arnold Palmer Medical Foundation which helped to open The Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children in Orlando, Florida in 1989.
Matty Fair ’17, a member of the Staples boys golf team, also admired Palmer’s influence on the game of golf.
“He opened up sports marketing into the golf world,” Fair said. “He paved the way for Tiger Woods and other players to gain sponsorships and succeed as players. He was truly a star.”
Palmer will be remembered by his two daughters, Amy and Peggy Palmer, as well as his second wife, Kathleen “Kit” Gawthrop.
Photo used under the Creative Commons license