Before accepting the Presidential Medal of Freedomin 2004, Arnold Palmer shared a few laughs withPresident George W. Bush and gave the commander in chief a few golf tips in the East Room of the White House.
Eight years later, when honored with the Congressional Gold Medal, Palmer, who again offered golf tips to some of the most important politicians in the country, jokingly thanked the House and the Senate for being able to agree on something.
After receiving the highest civilian awards given in the United States, Palmer went outside each day, at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and the U.S. Capitol, and signed autographs for hundreds of people.
That was Palmer, a man who connected with the masses, who related to kids, the hourly wage employee, the CEO — and Presidents.
Palmer, who died Sunday in Pittsburgh at age 87, was the accessible common man who would become the King and lead his own army. Along the way he became one of the sport’s best players and a successful businessman, philanthropist, trailblazing advertising spokesman, talented golf course designer and experienced aviator.
Alastair Johnson, CEO of Arnold Palmer Enterprises, confirmed that Palmer died Sunday afternoon of complications from heart problems. Johnson said Palmer was admitted to the hospital Thursday for some cardiovascular work and weakened over the last few days. Read more