Tags: arnold palmer | dies | golf | legend

Arnold Palmer, Legendary Golf Icon Known as 'The King,' Dies at 87

Image: Arnold Palmer, Legendary Golf Icon Known as 'The King,' Dies at 87

Homorary Starter, Arnold Palmer of the USA hits the firs shot during the first round of the 2015 Masters at Augusta National Golf Club on April 9, 2015 in Augusta, Georgia. (Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)

By    |   Monday, 26 Sep 2016 07:02 AM

Arnold Palmer, one of golf's most iconic and transformative figures, died Sunday at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Shadyside. He was 87.

Palmer's death was confirmed by UPMC spokesperson Stephanie Stanley, NPR reported.

Truly sports' first television star, Palmer rose to stardom pitching products while winning some of the game's biggest championships in the 1960s. His fans became known as Arnie's Army.

"He was someone who looked like an NFL halfback," Ian O'Connor, ESPN.com senior writer, said, according to NPR. "He had arms like a blacksmith and giant hands, and he had those rugged good looks. And he was just a different golfer. Nobody had ever really seen anything like him in that sport."

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review wrote that the golfer's charity work established him as the sport's goodwill ambassador.

"Arnie's life has always been about others," Palmer's longtime friend Doc Giffin told the newspaper. "He never stopped giving or caring."

Palmer won 62 professional tournaments, ranking him among the greats of the game. His four wins at The Masters ties him with Tiger Woods for second most.

"Arnold came along just at the right time with the advent of television," Larry Mize, a former Masters champion, told the Tribune-Review. "He had that swagger, and he interacted with the fans. Golf really took off when Arnold came in."

Nicknamed the King, Palmer was born Sept. 10, 1929, in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, where his father was a greenskeeper in a working-class family, according to Golfweek.

"Golf was always considered a blue blood, country club, elitist sport," O'Connor said, according to NPR. "Arnold Palmer gave the sport to people who worked for members of the country club set."

The hashtag "#kingofgolf" began trending on Twitter Sunday as many golf pros and fans showered Palmer with condolences on social media.

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Arnold Palmer, one of golf's most iconic and transformative figures, died Sunday at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Shadyside. He was 87.
arnold palmer, dies, golf, legend
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2016-02-26
Monday, 26 Sep 2016 07:02 AM
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