Arnold Palmer, the greatest Demon Deacon ever, tragically passed away at the age of 87 on Sunday evening. He was more than just a great golfer, he was a great person and humanitarian.
Palmer attended Wake Forest and won the first Atlantic Coast Conference Golf Championship in 1954. He went on to have illustrious career he won 62 PGA tournaments, including 7 major championships. His contagious personality earned him countless endorsements, and he is widely considered to be one of the pioneers of sports marketing.
His success enabled him to be a great philanthropist and give back to the world. He endowed a golf scholarship at Wake Forest University, that has enabled many of Wake’s top talents to attend the school that he loved so dearly. He has also contributed funds that went towards the Arnold Palmer Golf Complex on campus, as well as a dormitory named after Mr. Palmer.
Mr. Palmer received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2004, which is the highest civilian award of the United States. It recognizes individuals who made “an especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.” In 2009 he received the Congressional Gold Medal, which is awarded to persons who “have performed an achievement that has an impact on American history and culture that is likely to be recognized as a major achievement in the recipient’s field long after the achievement.”
It has been remarkable to read all of the touching tributes across the web of the people who knew Arnold. I have yet to see a single person who didn’t have the utmost respect and admiration for Arnold. Every person discussed Arnold’s unbelievable charisma and sincerity. He made those around him feel warm, and his great presence will be missed.
Reading so many Arnold Palmer tributes this morning. One thought comes to mind: We lost the most universally revered figure in the world.— Jason Sobel (@JasonSobelESPN) September 26, 2016
Rest easy, King. Though you are now gone, the profound impact that you had on Wake Forest University and the rest of the world will never be forgotten.
I’d encourage you all to read some of the touching tributes below by Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player. The PGA also had a very nice video in remembrance of Arnold’s great life.
I just got the news at about 8:45 that Arnold had passed. I was shocked to hear that we lost a great friend (continued) pic.twitter.com/skehUsQgww— Jack Nicklaus (@jacknicklaus) September 26, 2016
The King. Rest in Peace. pic.twitter.com/1wd555Inms— Wake Men's Golf (@WakeMGolf) September 26, 2016