Legendary Golfer Arnold Palmer Dies at 87


shutterstock_74228599Legendary golfer Arnold Palmer has died at the age of 87.

Golf Digest first reported the news on Twitter, and other outlets have since confirmed — as has the United States Golf Association.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that Palmer died at UMPC Presbyterian Hospital in Pittsburgh. Palmer, according to the report, had been undergoing heart tests at the facility since Thursday.

Palmer is one of the most popular players in the history of golf. His popularity arguably eclipses that of his rival, Jack Nicklaus — despite the fact that Nicklaus won 18 major titles to Palmer’s seven. Massive galleries, commonly referred to as Arnie’s Army, routinely followed Palmer around the course whenever he played.

“The King,” as Palmer was known, has a legacy that extends far beyond the links. He is considered one of the most successful commercial pitch men of all-time, with many high-profile sponsors over the years including Penzoil and Hertz.

And of course, there’s the iconic Arnold Palmer drink, iced tea and lemonade — which has become a summertime staple.

“I was mixing iced tea and lemonade in my kitchen since as long as I can remember,” Palmer told Interview magazine. “It wasn’t until sometime in the early 1960s that it became associated with me publicly. I was playing golf in Palm Springs and after a round I asked the waitress in a restaurant to bring me a glass of iced tea and lemonade. A lady sitting nearby heard me and asked the waitress to bring her a ‘Palmer,’ too.”

Palmer is survived by his wife, two daughters, and six grandchildren.

[image via ShutterStock]

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Joe DePaolo is a Senior Editor at Mediaite. Email him here: joed@mediaite.com Follow him on Twitter: @joe_depaolo