Arnold Palmer died on Sunday at the age of 87 years old in Pittsburgh. Arnold Palmer Enterprises confirmed to Golf Channel, a network Palmer founded, that he died Sunday afternoon due to complications of heart problems.
Palmer was a seven-time major championship winner as a golfer. He won four Masters, a U.S. Open, and two Open Championships in a career of 62 PGA TOUR wins. That success made him the most popular player in the game and one part of an era of the "Big Three" with Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player.
Beyond the major championships and personal success, however, was Palmer's impact on the game of golf. He was "The King" and had a following that dwarfed everyone else in the sport. There were legends who came before Palmer and helped push the sport onto the map, but The King was the first superstar and celebrity of the game. That profile led him to team up with Mark McCormack as the first client of IMG, ushering in the era of athletes capitalizing on their endorsement and earning powers. Palmer was a trailblazer and the first sports superstar of the television age. That evolved into an enormously successful business career.
The King remained one of the most generous, lucrative, and popular golfers in the game well past his playing days. From a blue collar background in Latrobe, Pa., he's often credited with making golf "cool" and bringing it to the masses as the most beloved player of a generation. Palmer is an incomparable icon and legend of the game whose impact goes so far beyond his wins on the course.
Palmer is survived by his second wife, Kit, his daughters Amy Saunders and Peggy Wears, and his six grandchildren.