As a measure of his popularity, Palmer, like Elvis Presley before him, was known simply as “The King.” But in a life bursting from the seams with success, Palmer never lost his common touch. He was a man of the people, willing to sign every autograph, shake every hand. He tried to look every person in his gallery in the eye.
— Golf Week
I can proudly say that I am a veteran of “Arnie’s Army.”
“Arnie” was Arnold Palmer–who ranked right up there with my boyhood sports heroes who were so fun and exciting to watch like Yogi and Micky and Gifford and Brown and Staubach and Ali.
I was in one of Arnie’s golf galleries (i.e. armies) in my teen years once.
He had warmth and charisma like nobody I’ve ever seen or probably ever will.
He made golf wildly popular just by being so cool and impressively humble. He was a great gentleman, great role model, faithful husband and family mean, fashion trend setter.
He was a world champion in terms of philanthropy (a huge heart for women and children in need!), business, aviation (which as a speed-record-breaking pilot he loved every bit as much as golf) and, well . . . old-fashion class.
He dominated the golf world with his aggressive approach to the game for years, along with his friend and class act Jack Nicklaus, who said at his memorial, “He had swagger before swagger was cool.”
Somehow, he found time to pursue his woodworking hobby. I mean, can you say “Renaissance Man?”
He was a devout Christian who used enormous wealth and world fame for the greater good as well as his own.
There was never the slightest hint of scandal or corruption in his private or public life. He wasn’t the least bit political, at least not publicly. But if he had run for President I’d have voted for him whatever party he chose for his goodness and integrity alone.
More on the great one here.