Arnold Palmer Bio And Facts

Arnold Palmer

Arnold Daniel Palmer was an American professional golfer born on September 10, 1929, in Latrobe, Pennsylvania. Palmer was recognized for using the most “unorthodox” swing in the sport but was extremely successful in doing so. Palmer was most popular during the height of his career from the 1950s to the 1960s. Palmer was also the first to win the Masters tournament four times in 1958, 1960, 1962, and 1964. He was the first golfer to win $1 million in prize money from a tournament in 1968. Palmer led an extremely strong and legendary professional golf career and won several tournaments over the course of many decades. Palmer won 92 tournaments, and 64 of those tournaments were a part of the Professional Golfers’ Association of America. Palmer’s fanbase was known as “Arnold’s Army” and was extremely loyal to the famed player.

  • Birthday: September 10, 1929 (10-09-1929)
  • Death: September 25, 2016 (87 years old)
  • Education: Wake Forest University
  • Net Worth: $875 million
  • Occupation: Professional Golfer
  • Height: 5’10” (1.778 m)
  • Weight: 185 lbs (83.9 kg)
  • Years Active: 52 years
  • Career Wins: 62
  • Nicknames: The King

Golf Career

Arnold Palmer had an extremely long and successful professional golf career. Palmer always had a passion for golfing; he won the Pennsylvania high school state golf championship two years in a row before going to Wake Forest University. However, his college career did not last long; Palmer quit university to join the United States Coast Guard, where he served for three years. He went on to win the U.S. Amateur Championship in 1954. The first time Palmer won as a professional was at the 1955 Canadian Open. Palmer’s golf success followed him into the 1960s, where he continued to win many tournaments and competitions, including multiple Masters victories. Palmer also went on to continue life with golf after his retirement in 2006. Palmer served as President of Arnold Palmer Enterprises and also played a role as a spokesman for many companies. He also wrote books detailing his golf skills and self-help books for other golfers looking to improve their game.

Titles and Awards

Arnold Palmer had an incredible career as a professional golfer and earned an impressive amount of awards during his time. Starting off in high school, Palmer won the Pennsylvania State High School Championship twice. Soon after, Palmer won the U.S. Amateur championship. In 1955, Palmer won his first professional victory at the Canadian Open. Later in 1958, Palmer won his first Masters Tournament, and over the next two years, he won eight more tournaments. In the 1960s, Palmer collected a win at the British Open, along with six more tournament victories under his belt. By 1964, Palmer had won his fourth Masters tournament. He also won four Vardon Trophies during his career. Palmer is easily one of the most successful golfers in the history of the Professional Golfers’ Association and set many records for future golfers to come. Overall, Palmer won 62 PGA tournaments from 1955 to 1973. 

Personal Life

Arnold Daniel Palmer was born on September 10, 1929, in Latrobe, Pennsylvania. He died September 25, 2016, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania at the age of 87. Palmer was the eldest of the Deacon and Dorris Palmer family. Palmer also received his first set of golf instructions from his father and started golfing when he was only three years old. By the age of eleven, Palmer became a golf caddy to immerse himself more into the sport. He went on to attend Wake Forest University but dropped out early to join the Coast Guard. Arnold Palmer married Winifred Walzer in 1954, and the two were married until her death in 1999. Together, they had two children, Amy Palmer and Peggy Palmer. Arnold Palmer was later remarried to Kathleen Gawthrop from 2005-2016. Palmer loved his family with his whole heart and more.

Fun Facts

  • Palmer's father was the head professional and golf course superintendent at Latrobe Country Club and introduced him to the game.
  • Palmer left college early to join the United States Coast Guard.
  • The Arnold Palmer Center for Golf History is home to the world’s largest and leading collection of all types of golf artifacts.
  • Palmer was on the side protesting against golf courses from being built in all of Florida’s state parks.
  • Palmer was known for his unwieldy and unorthodox swing, which helped lead him to become such a well-known golfer.
  • Palmer used to smoke cigarettes religiously but quit in 1973 after it became too much of a health issue.
  • Arnold Palmer’s net worth was worth an estimated $875 million dollars at the time of his death.
  • Palmer also built his financial kingdom through advertising, architecture, clothes, cars, motor oil, ketchup, dry cleaners, umbrellas, and drinks.
  • Palmer once filled in for Johnny Carson on The Tonight Show in 1970.


Why does an umbrella represent Arnold Palmer’s brand?

Arnold Palmer chose an umbrella as the logo for his golfing brand because he simply loved the umbrella and everything it represented. It meant great quality and reassurance to have a good day, even when the weather was not cooperating. When looking for a logo to mark the Palmer brand, Palmer got so frustrated that he went on a walk to avoid the stress of the meeting, until it started raining. Palmer saw a woman pull out a colorful umbrella which he decided should be the logo for his brand, and the rest is history.

What is the Arnold Palmer drink?

The Arnold Palmer signature drink is a half-and-half blend of lemonade and ice tea. The brand Arizona Ice Tea capitalized on the popularity of the golfer and decided to make a drink with Palmer's image and signature back in 2002, creating one of the world’s most famous drinks. Palmer was known for drinking this classic drink during his golf matches and at restaurants as well, even before the Arizona Tea brand was created.

How much was Arnold Palmer worth at the end of his life?

Arnold Palmer explored several business ventures outside of his professional golf life. Palmer was also the first golfer in the history of professional golf to win $1 million from winning a tournament. Although Palmer's exact net worth at the time of his death is hard to determine, it is estimated that with all his business ventures, Palmer could have been worth up to $1.3 billion. However, people believe that his net worth was much closer to the $680 million to $875 million range at his death.

What was Arnold Palmer’s favorite golf course?

Arnold Palmer became recognized as “The King” of golf, so the famous professional golfer definitely knows a thing or two about great golf courses. Palmer has stated that his favorite golf course is located at Pebble Beach in Bay Hill, Florida. This course requires a more aggressive player in order to perform well, and Palmer was always eager to take on the challenge.