Arnold Palmer will be remembered on the cover of next weeks’ Sports Illustrated. SI Senior writer Michael Bamberger wrote a terrific remembrance, which begins:
Arnold Palmer, who died Sunday in Pittsburgh at age 87, 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.
You can see a gallery of all of Palmer’s Sports Illustrated covers here.