The golfing and sports world as a whole has lost one of its all-time greats over the weekend, with Arnold Palmer passing away. The golfing legend died at the age of 87 in Pittsburgh, due to complications from heart problems. The golfer's longtime agent Alastair Johnson confirmed that Arnold Palmer was admitted to the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Presbyterian on Thursday for a cardiovascular procedure, although his condition had continued to weaken over the past few days.
The golfer's spokesperson and friend Doc Griffin confirmed the news to ESPN, revealing that he was "heartbroken" by the golfer's death. While his burial will be private, there will be a public memorial service on Tuesday, Oct. 4 at 11 AM ET at St. Vincent College in Latrobe, Pennsylvania. Here's what his daughter, Amy Palmer Saunders, had to say in a statement on Arnold Palmer's official website.
"My family and I are deeply moved by the outpouring of support and love that we have received from the countless friends and admirers of my father. These first hours have been challenging but we are comforted knowing that he was loved by so many and so deeply. Words can not begin to express the gratitude we have for the many people who have offered to help us in this time of sadness. My father would be so pleased to know that he is being thought of and recognized this way. Over the next couple days, we will be finalizing arrangements for his services and until then, we all appreciate the kindness everyone has shown us. On behalf of my father and family, thank you for your thoughts and prayers."
Arnold Palmer was born September 10, 1929, in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, the oldest of four children. His father was the greenskeeper at the Latrobe Country Club, before becoming the club pro in 1933. Arnold Palmer became a pro golfer in 1954, earning his first professional tour victory at the 1955 Canadian Open in his rookie season. He would go on to win 62 PGA Tour tournaments and 92 tournaments overall, a tally which includes international events and Senior PGA Tour victors. Among those victories are seven major championships, winning The Masters four times, The British Open twice and the U.S. Open once.
His loyal and rabid fan base became known as "Arnie's Army," which followed him throughout his career. He also became the first golfer in history to earn more than $1 million, with career earnings totaling nearly $7 million. He was the named the PGA Player of the Year twice in 1960 and 1962, and was the tour's leading money-winner four times. His famous mixture of lemonade and iced tea became immortalized as the Arnold Palmer. The golfer is preceeded in death by his first wife, Winnie, and survived by his second wife, Kit, his daughters, Amy (Roy) Saunders and Peggy (Stewart) Bryan, six grandchildren, numerous great-grandchildren, his brother, Jerry; and his sisters, Sandra Sarni and Lois "Cheech" Tilly.