Arnold Palmer, “the King” of golf, died at the age of 87 at a hospital in Pittsburgh while waiting for a cardiac surgery on Sunday. He was known for his distinctive style and mastery in golf that helped turn the sport accessible to the masses.
He won many accolades over his career. He won more than 90 tournaments including the U.S. Open in 1960, the British Open in 1961 and 1962 and the Masters for four times. He was also the first person to earn $1 million from golf.
“I would like to be remembered for bringing golf to a worldwide audience,” the CNN quoted him as saying in 2012. “Players today have no boundaries.”
Palmer managed to make around $675 million in his lifetime, however, most of it was amassed after he was done becoming one of the most triumphant golfer in the sport’s history. He reportedly made only $7 million during his career, eve after winning more than 90 tournaments. Thus, it appears that turning to run a business proved to be more financially rewarding to him than being a golfer.
After retiring as a golfer, Palmer became a popular pitchman. He invested early in his career and Mark McCormack, the founder of International Management Group, as his business manager.
“When he attaches his name to something, people know it’s going to work. And people want to be associated with him so they want to be associated with projects that he’s involved in,” the Golf Channel President Mike McCarley was quoted as saying.
In 2015, Palmer was still one of the highest paid retired athletes earning $42 million, which trails only David Beckham and Michael Jordan. Licensing his name and logo for apparel in Asia gave him his most recent success, the Heavy.com reported. According to Forbes, there are 400 stores that sell the apparel.
Arnold Palmer was married to his first wife, Winnie Palmer for 45 years and had two children, Peggy Palmer Wears and Amy Palmer Saunders. Winnie died of cancer in 1999 and in 2005, at the age of 75, Palmer married Kathleen Kit Gawthrop, the Heavy.com reported.