The Congressional Gold Medal was awarded to golfer Arnold Palmer at a ceremony held today at the U.S. Capitol Building. The medal was awarded in recognition of his service to the Nation in promoting excellence and good sportsmanship.
Arnold Palmer won 92 championships in professional competition of national or international stature, including 62 which came on the Professional Gold Association Tour. He has been the recipient of countless honors including virtually every national award in golf, Sports Illustrated’s Sportsman of the Year, the Hickok Athlete of the Year, and was chosen as the Athlete of the Decade for the 1960’s in a national Associated Press poll.
The obverse design of the medal features an image of Palmer completing his golf swing with the inscription “Arnold Palmer”. The reverse contains a pair of crossed golf clubs, a gold ball on a tee, and the inscriptions “In recognition of his service to the Nation in promoting excellence and good sportsmanship”, “92 professional golf victories”, and “7 major championships”. The obverse was designed and sculpted by Don Everhart. The reverse was designed by Phebe Hemphill and sculpted by Joseph Menna.
This Congressional Gold Medal was authorized under Public Law 111-65. Initially, the US Mint prepared three different obverse and four different reverse design candidates, which were reviewed by the Commission of Fine Arts and Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee. The final designs were selected by the Secretary of the Treasury.
The United States Mint has produced three-inch and one-and-one-half-inch bronze reproductions of the medal, which are available for sale to the public. Orders may be placed online at http://catalog.usmint.gov/
Arnold Palmer becomes the sixth athlete to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor. He joins Roberto Clemente, Jackie Robinson, Jesse Owens, Joe Louis, and Byron Nelson.