Robert Lee Elder

Born Robert Lee Elder, son of Charles (a coal truck driver) and Sadie Elder; married Rose Lorraine Harper (president of Elder & Associates, Inc., a public relations, marketing, and promotions firm), July 18, 1966.

Golfer, business executive, fund-raiser. Worked as a caddy and in a golf shop and country club locker room; golf “hustler” during early 1950s; joined the United Golf Association (UGA) Tour of professional black players, 1961; qualified for Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA) Tour, 1967; founded Lee Elder Celebrity Pro-Am Golf Classic, 1970; named Goodwill Ambassador to Africa by U.S. State Department, 1972; won first PGA tournament, 1974; established (with his wife, Rose) the Lee Elder Scholarship Fund, 1974, and the Elder Foundation; joined Seniors PGA Tour, 1984. Military service: Served in the U.S. Army, 1959-61.

Set PGA record for rookies by earning money in nine straight professional tournaments, 1968; Lee Elder Day established in Washington, DC, May 3, 1974; became first black golfer to participate in Masters Tournament, 1975; Charles Bartlett Award, 1977; Herman A. English Humanitarian Award from City of Los Angeles, 1977; A. G. Gaston Award, 1978; became first black golfer to qualify for Ryder Cup, 1979; received honorary doctorate of humanities from Daniel Hale Williams University.


Birthplace: Dallas, Texas

Born: July 14, 1934

Died: N/A