Arnold Palmer

Fore! Latrobe Pennsylvania is the birthplace of The King of golfing, Arnold Palmer! Because of the generosity of the Arnold and Winnie Palmer Foundation, we here at Adams Memorial Library are able to bring you great programs and incentives during our Palmer Summer Reading Program!

Arnold Palmer 1947
Arnold Palmer’s 1947 senior picture from the Latrobe High School yearbook

Arnold Palmer was born here in Latrobe on September 10, 1929.  He attended Latrobe High School from 1943 to 1947 and was an avid golfer for Latrobe, winning local and state championships.  By 1947, he was the number two junior golfer in the United States, and graduated the year after another famous Latrobean, Fred Rogers.

Arnold Palmer shows off a proper stance found in the 1947 Latrobean yearbook

Palmer secured a golf scholarship and attended Wake Forest College, until the death of a close friend inspired him to enlist in the U.S. Coast Guard, which he served in for three years.  He kept honing his golf skills and in 1954, he won the U.S. Amateur and decided to go pro.  He then went on to play in the Waite Memorial Tournament where he met his future wife, Winnie.  They married that year and were together until 1999, when Winnie sadly died of complications from cancer.  In fact, it was Winnie who often made him the now famous Arnold Palmer drink: half iced tea, half lemonade.

While Palmer went on to win four Masters Tournaments, three PGA Championships, the U.S. Open, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom, he was also known for this philanthropy.  He and his wife created the Arnie’s Army Charitable Foundation to help children and youth.  That Foundation then saw to the creation of The Howard Philips Center for Children & Families, the Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children, the Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women & Babies Center, and, locally, the Winnie Palmer Nature Reserve, which is at St. Vincent College.

Arnold & Winnie Palmer (center) at Adams Memorial Library with Library Board President Kay Elder (left) and Library Director, Tracy Trotter (right) © Adams Memorial Library

Sadly, Mr. Palmer passed away in 2016 at the age of 87, leaving behind a long and enduring legacy of sportsmanship and philanthropy.

Here at Adams Memorial Library, in honor of our favorite benefactor, we have copies of the Latrobean yearbooks that feature Arnold Palmer in our Special Collections as well as copies of the many books he authored on golf.

If you’re looking for information on Arnold Palmer, you can visit his Foundation’s website, take a trip to see his statue at the Arnold Palmer Regional Airport, visit the Greater Latrobe Chamber of Commerce, or stop by Adams Memorial Library!