It’s with heavy hearts that we further numerous reports out of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania that the legendary golfer and United States Coast veteran Arnold Palmer has passed away. He was 87.

A native of Latrobe, Pennsylvania, Palmer was a student at Wake Forest University in North Carolina when he picked up and left the school upon the sudden death of his best friend, Bud Worsham. He then enlisted in the USCG and served for three years (shown in his uniform in the 1953 photograph above). After being discharged, he went back to school, played golf, won the 1954 United States Amateur title, then turned professional. Seven majors and 62 PGA Tour wins overall, he stands as not only a giant of the game — but an immortal. A name synonymous with the sport in America and abroad.

Why, he even has a famous drink named after him.

This from

Palmer led an American life that will never be duplicated, so rooted was it in a lost time and a place and the sui generis chemistry of the man.

The golf legend won his last major championship in 1964 and his last PGA Tour event in 1973, but in the 43 years since then his status as an international icon has only grown. He had a knack for making people feel better about themselves, and about their prospects. As a player, he allowed his fans to join him in his unbridled assertiveness. He created a vicarious thrill as no player before him and none since. When his golf skills faded and his hair turned silver and then white, he exuded grandfatherly warmth that was also unmatched, possibly in any sport. For these and other reasons he was not only the most beloved figure ever to play golf but the rare golfer who was able to transcend a niche sport and become a genuine celebrity.

Here’s Palmer, amid his famed “army” (his throngs of fans) winning the prestigious Masters Tournament at Augusta National in Georgia, in 1960 — his second major championship and green jacket: