Born in Youngstown, Pennsylvania, Arnold Palmer started playing golf at the age of 3. In 1947 he entered Wake Forest University. He enlisted in the Coast Guard in 1950 as a Yeoman and continued to serve until 1953. Though a Yeoman, Palmer participated in many matches as the Coast Guard allowed him to continue to play golf. He returned to Wake Forest and in 1954 he won the U.S. Amateur Championship. His professional playing garnered him four Master’s Championships, 1958, 1960, 1962, 1964, also the 1960 U.S. Open and the 1961 and ’62 British Open. He is the first golfer to earn over one million dollars in prize tournament money. He also won the 1981 and 1982 U.S. Senior Open.
Click here to view a 2011 video-interview conducted by Richard A. Stephenson, Ph.D., National Historian, History Branch, U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary.