Jack Nicklaus Biography

Jack Nicklaus is an accomplished professional golfer, popularly known as ‘The Golden Bear’. Read this biography to learn more about his childhood, life, wins, achievements and timeline.

Jack Nicklaus
Quick Facts

Birthday: January 21, 1940

Nationality: American

Famous: Golfers American Men

Age: 79 Years, 79 Year Old Males

Sun Sign: Aquarius

Also Known As: Jack William Nicklaus

Born in: Upper Arlington, Ohio, U.S.

Famous as: Golfer

Height: 5'10" (178 cm), 5'10" Males


Spouse/Ex-: Barbara Nicklaus

father: Charlie Nicklaus

mother: Helen

children: Gary Nicklaus Jack Nicklaus Jr., Nancy Nicklaus Michael Nicklaus Steven Nicklaus

U.S. State: Ohio

Diseases & Disabilities: Polio

More Facts

education: Upper Arlington High School Ohio State University

awards: 1962 - PGA Tour Rookie of the Year award
Bob Jones Award
Payne Stewart Award

PGA and PGA Tour Players of the Year
Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year
Florida Sports Hall of Fame
Ryder Cup
Presidents Cup
Players Championship champions

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One of the greatest and most successful golf players of all time, Jack Nicklaus is the only player to complete his career ‘Grand Slam’ on both regular and senior tours. With a total of 118 professional tournament victories to his credit, he also has a record of 18 major championship titles which include six Masters, five PGA Championships, four U.S. Opens and three British Opens. One of the only five golfers in the world, to have won all four major professional golf tournaments, Nicklaus is known for employing his mental and psychological resources to the game. A talented golf course designer, he has received numerous awards for his designs and he runs one of the largest golf design practices in the world. He is also a proficient writer and has authored many books including the most popular publication ‘Golf My Way’, a book with instructions on golf and also an autobiography ‘My Story’. Apart from his other skill sets, he is also a skilful businessman, owns a chain of private business and is the founder and host of ‘The Memorial Tournament’.

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Jack Nicklaus
Childhood & Early Life
  • Jack William Nicklaus was born in Columbus, Ohio, in the suburb of Upper Arlington to Charles Nicklaus, a pharmacist, and Helen Nicklaus.
  • He grew up in the well-to-do suburb of Upper Arlington and attended the Upper Arlington High School. He played basketball, baseball and tennis through high school.
  • A child prodigy, he started playing golf at ten and by the time he was twelve he had won the Ohio Junior State Championship. At fourteen he had won the Tri-State High School Championship.
  • In 1961, he graduated from the Ohio State University with a major in ‘Pre-pharmacy,’ and he planned to join his father’s pharmaceutical business after graduation.
  • While he was studying at the Ohio State University, he actively participated in sports and won the U.S Amateur title twice and also won the NCAA basketball championship.
  • He studied insurance for a brief period and sold insurance policies while attending college.
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  • In 1962, he began his professional career in golf with the PGA Tour and his first win was at the U.S Open, where he defeated Arnold Palmer and became the U.S Open champion.
  • In 1963, he was the winner of some of the major golf championships in the U.S - The Masters Tournament, Tournament of Champions, the PGA Championship and the World Golf Cup.
  • In 1964, he won six tournaments, seven runner-up titles and was also featured on the top ten players list five times.
  • In 1965, he was the winner of The Masters Tournament and set a new record with an aggregate score of 271. The same year, he teamed with Tony Lema and formed the U.S Team for the World Cup and had five victories in all.
  • In 1966, he was the winner of ‘The Open Championship in Muirfield’, Scotland. He participated in 22 official worldwide events that year and won four major tournaments.
  • In 1967, he won his second U.S Open Title at the Baltusrol Golf Club, New Jersey, and the same year he teamed up with Arnold Palmer to win the World Cup in Mexico City.
  • In 1970, he won the Open Championship at the Old Golf Course at St Andrews, Scotland, and also came out victorious at the Piccadilly World Match Play Championship.
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  • In the 1971 PGA Championship tour, he defeated Billy Casper and later that year claimed his third World Cup victory and won the Australian Dunlop International game.
  • In 1973, he broke the records of Bobby Jones and Walter Hagen in the PGA Championship Tournament, at the age of 33.
  • In 1980, he was the winner of the U.S Open Tournament and the PGA Championship.
  • In 1986, he tasted one of the major victories of his career when he recorded his 6th Masters Tournament win, a match where he scored six birdies and an eagle.
  • In 1990, he was the winner of the Senior Players Championship, where he defeated Lee Trevino by six shots.
  • In 1993, he defeated Tom Weiskopf at the U.S. Senior Open Tournament. He also won the Wendy's Three Tour Challenge that year.
  • In 2000, he played his final U.S Open at the Pebble Beach Golf Links, California, and later that year he paired with Tiger woods and Vijay Singh for the last PGA Championship tournament of his career.
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  • In 2005, he played the last tournament of his professional career at the U.S Open Championship at the St Andrews Golf Course, Scotland, where he received a standing ovation. That year he also played his final Masters Tournament.
Awards & Achievements
  • From 1959 to 1961 he was given the title of the ‘world’s top amateur golfer’ by ‘Golf Digest’, a monthly golf magazine.
  • In 1962, he was featured on the cover of the ‘TIME Magazine’, after he won the U.S Open Tournament.
  • In 1962, he was conferred the ‘PGA Tour Rookie of the Year award’.
  • In 1974, he was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame.
  • In 2005, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President George W. Bush.
  • In 2008, he was elected as the Global Ambassador of the International Golf Federation.
Personal Life & Legacy
  • In July 1960, he married his long-time sweetheart Barbara Bash and the couple have five children together.
  • In early 1963, he injured his left hip while playing golf.
  • He was featured on a special commemorative issue of a five-pound note issued by the Royal Bank of Scotland. This made him the first living person to appear on the bank note, beside the Royal Family.
  • In 2002, the Ohio State University dedicated 24,000 square foot to ‘Jack Nicklaus Museum’ in his honour. The museum offers a comprehensive view of his life and achievements.
  • At the age of 13, Jack Nicklaus had a mild attack of polio but he overcame it.

See the events in life of Jack Nicklaus in Chronological Order

How To Cite

Article Title
- Jack Nicklaus Biography
- Editors, TheFamousPeople.com
- TheFamousPeople.com
Last Updated
- November 25, 2016

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