September 25, 2016 10:15 PM EDT Arnold Palmer died at 87 on Sunday in Pittsburgh. The golf legend won his first Masters in 1958, during America’s great post-war expansion. This ascendant era spawned the leisure class, which took to golf, Eisenhower’s favorite game, and to the couch, to watch new TV sets in their living rooms. Into this fold stepped Palmer, a champ so strapping that he didn’t just sell golf to the masses watching the final round on Sundays. Palmer, who ranked among the most important figures in golf history, won seven major championships and earned 62 PGA Tour wins.
Here, TIME looks back a
t Palmer’s life in pictures. A portrait of American golfer Arnold Palmer pulling a driving iron from a golf bag on a golf course circa 1953. Palmer died Sunday in Pittsburgh. He was 87. Hulton Archive/Getty Images Arnold Palmer points to his name on the press tent scoreboard during the National Open golf tournament at the Cherry Hills Country Club in Denver June 19, 1960. AP Arnold Palmer is surrounded by applauding citizens of Latrobe, Pa., April 16, 1960 following a "Welcome Home" parade in his honor. Palmer had won the Masters Golf Tournament. AP Arnold Palmer stands on a sheet of glass and prepares to demonstrate his swing in Miami, in December 1960. Lynn Pelham—The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images Arnold Palmer hugs his wife, Winnie, after winning the Masters Golf Tournament on April 10, 1960 in Augusta, Ga. Horace Cort—AP A portrait of Arnold Palmer with wife Winnie and daughters at home in
Latrobe, Pa. on Nov. 9, 1960. Robert Huntzinger—Sports Illustrated Arnold Palmer tees off as President Dwight D. Eisenhower watches. Augusta National/Getty Images Arnold Palmer lays his head on his golf bag while taking a break between shots during a golf tournament in 1961. Getty Images Arnold Palmer holds up his hand to quiet the crowd during the Masters Golf Tournament in Augusta, Ga. April 7, 1963. AP Arnold Palmer signs autographs in Oakmont, Pa. in 1962. Robert Huntzinger—Sports Illustrated Arnold Palmer in a 1964 portrait. Dozier Mobley—AP Arnold Palmer, right, slips into his green jacket with help from Jack Nicklaus after winning the Masters golf championship, in Augusta, Ga. on April 12, 1964. AP Arnold Palmer shows young Jane Coop how to putt at Royal Birkdale, Southport, where he was practicing for his Ryder Cup match on October 7, 1965. Ted West—Central Press/Getty Images Arnold Palmer in action in 1966 at Lake Course of The Olympic Club in
San Francisco. Neil Leifer—Sports Illustrated Arnold Palmer stands next to a bi-plane. Brian Morgan—Getty Images Arnold Palmer in Las Vegas in 1966. Harold Filan—AP Arnold Palmer does a little balancing act with his putter as he urges a ball that failed to drop in the hole on the 6th green in first round of the Philadelphia Golf Classic on Sept. 15, 1967 at Whitemarsh Valley Country Club in Laurel Valley, Pa. Bill Ingraham—AP Thunderbird Golf Classic winner Arnold Palmer, right, and runner-up Jack Nicklaus stop for a backward look at photographers before meeting the rest of the press after the tournament in Clifton, N.J., on Sept. 25, 1967. AP Arnold Palmer, right, follows the ball after he cleared a trap on the 8th hole in the second round of the Thunderbird Golf Classic, Aug. 31, 1968, Clifton, N.J. AP President Richard Nixon poses in the White House with three stars of the sports world, Feb. 13, 1969 in Washington. His guests from left, were: Quarterback Bart Starr of the Green Bay Packers, Golfer Arnold Palmer and Al Kaline of the Detroit Tigers. The three were in Washington to attend a special sports program at the National Press Club. AP Arnold Palmer paid a visit to Mrs. Mamie Eisenhower just before practice at the Augusta National Golf Club on April 4, 1972 in Augusta. Mrs. Eisenhower told Palmer to do his best and wished him luck. Bob Daugherty—AP Pro golfer Arnold Palmer in 1974. AP Arnold Palmer in action in Westchester Classic at Harrison, N.Y., Aug. 1978. AP Arnold Palmer announced his retirement from playing the Open Golf Championship on the penultimate day of the championship at Muirfield, Scotland, July 19, 1980. Peter Kemp—AP Arnold Palmer, at podium, speaks before a Joint Meeting of Congress marking the centennial of former President Dwight D. Eisenhower, on March 27, 1990, in Washington, D.C. House Speaker Tom Foley sits behind Palmer. Ron Edmonds—AP President George H.W. Bush and golf legend Arnold Palmer watch the tee shot of a playing partner on the 8th hole of the Cape Arundel Golf Course on August 23, 1991 in Kennebunkport, Me. Doug Mills—AP 1996 President Bill Clinton and golfing legend Arnold Palmer check out the action during the opening round of the Presidents Cup in Manassas, Sept. 13, 1996. Reuters Palmer looks at a statue of himself commemorating the 50th anniversary of his first PGA tour win in 1955 in Toronto. Reuters Golfing legend Arnold Palmer arrives on the field before a baseball game between the Pittsburgh Pirates and Chicago Cubs in Pittsburgh, on Sept. 8, 2009. Gene J. Puskar—AP Gary Player of South Africa, Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer at The Big Three fund-raiser for the Mountain Mission Kids at the Olde Farm Golf Club on June 8, 2010 in Bristol, Va. Chris Condon—PGA TOUR Speaker of the House John Boehner presents golfing legend Arnold Palmer with the Congressional Gold Medal at a special ceremony in the Rotunda of the Capitol Building on Sept.12, 2012 in Washington. Chris Condon—PGA TOUR Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer walk to the third green during the Greats of Golf exhibition at the Insperity Championship at the Woodlands Country Club on May 4, 2013 in Woodlands, Texas. Scott Halleran—Getty Images Tiger Woods and Arnold Palmer laughing during the Arnold Palmer Invitational
at Bay Hill Club and Lodge in Orlando, Fla on March 25, 2013.
Fred Vuich for Sports Illustrated Steve Sands chats with Masters champions Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player of South Africa on the Golf Channel set prior to the start of the 2015 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 8, 2015 in Augusta, Ga. David Cannon—Getty Images Arnold Palmer waves to the crowd at the 2002 Masters. Doug Mills—AP More Must-Reads From TIME Inside the White House Program to Share America's Secrets Meet the 2024 Women of the Year East Palestine, One Year After Train Derailment The Closers: 18 People Working to End the Racial Wealth Gap Long COVID Doesn’t Always Look Like You Think It Does Column: The New Antisemitism The 13 Best New Books to Read in March Want Weekly Recs on What to Watch, Read, and More? Sign Up for Worth Your Time