Charlie Sifford, who only wanted a chance to play and who broke the color barrier in golf as the first Black PGA Tour member, died Tuesday night, the PGA of America said. Sifford, who recently had suffered a stroke, was 92. Details of his death and funeral arrangements were not immediately available.
"His love of golf, despite many barriers in his path, strengthened him as he became a beacon for diversity in our game," PGA of America president Derek Sprague said. "By his courage, Dr. Sifford inspired others to follow their dreams. Golf was fortunate to have had this exceptional American in our midst."
A proud man who endured racial taunts and threats, Sifford set modest goals and achieved more than he had imagined. Sifford challenged the Caucasian-only clause, and the PGA rescinded it in 1961. He won the Greater Hartford Open in 1967 and the Los Angeles Open in 1969. He also won the 1975 Senior PGA Championship, five years before the Champions Tour was created.