(born Sept. 10, 1929, Latrobe, Pa., U.S.) U.S. golfer. The son of a greenskeeper, Palmer turned professional in 1954 after winning the U.S. Amateur championship. He was the first player to win the Masters Tournament
four times (1958, 1960, 1962, 1964); his other major h1s include the U.S. Open (1960) and the British Open (1961–62). From 1954 through 1975 he won 61 tournaments. He won the PGA Senior Open in 1980 and 1981. He was the first golfer to earn $1,000,000 in tournament prize money. His exciting play and amiable personality won him wide popularity among fans, who became known as “Arnie's Army.” Palmer was also the first athlete to parlay success on the playing field into lucrative off-the-field contracts, and thus he paved the way for athletes who followed to earn substantial sums from endorsement contracts.
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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.