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Charlie Sifford, Golf’s Jackie Robinson, Dead at 92

Charlie Sifford, who broke golf’s color barrier back in the 1960s, died Tuesday. He was 92.

Sifford recently had a stroke, although it’s unclear if that contributed to his death.

The PGA ultimately changed its policy of whites only on the tour after Sifford fought it in 1961. He would go on to win the Greater Hartford Open in 1967 and the Los Angeles Open in 1969.

Last year, he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, joining Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer as the only golfers to do so.

In his book, ‘Just Let Me Play,’ Sifford discussed an encounter he had with Jackie Robinson right around the time Robinson was coming up with the Brooklyn Dodgers:

He asked me if I was a quitter. I told him no. He said, ‘If you’re not a quitter, you’re probably going to experience some things that will make you want to quit.'”

His death was met with sadness by many who talked about what he meant to golf and our country:

And, of course, Nicklaus himself chimed in with a touching tribute:

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