No name is more synonymous with greatness in the sport of golf than the name Jack Nicklaus, and no single person has changed the face of the sport more than Jack Nicklaus – the player, the designer, the businessman, the philanthropist and the goodwill ambassador.
Jack, 78, was named “Golfer of the Century” and “Golfer of the Millennium” by almost every major golf publication in the world. He was also named Individual Male Athlete of the Century by Sports Illustrated, and one of the 10 Greatest Athletes of the Century by ESPN.
Known globally as the Golden Bear, Jack is one of only 16 individuals over a 240–year history to have been awarded both the Congressional Gold Medal (2015) and the Presidential Medal of Freedom (2005)—the highest civilian awards in the United States.
Jack’s competitive career spanned five decades, and his legend has been built with 120 professional tournament victories worldwide and a record 18 major–championship titles (six Masters, five PGA Championships, four U.S. Opens, three British Opens). He is one of only five golfers who have won all of golf’s modern majors—referred to as the career Grand Slam—and the only golfer to have done so on both the regular and senior Tours.
The legacy Jack has left as a player can be rivaled only by the legacy he is leaving as a golf course designer, businessman and philanthropist.
Co-chairman of the privately held Nicklaus Companies, Jack has designed more than 300 golf courses over a six-decade career and was voted 2017 Golf Course Designer of the Year by the World Golf Awards. His firm, Nicklaus Design, is considered the industry leader, with 415 courses in 45 countries. Jack is the architect of a global brand, as the Jack Nicklaus– and Golden Bear-branded lifestyle collection of products include: golf academies; ice cream; restaurants; beverages; wine; beverage–ware; home appliances; flooring; cabinets; apparel; footwear; and golf equipment.
Tireless philanthropists, Jack and wife Barbara are the guiding light for the Nicklaus Children’s Health Care Foundation, which supports numerous pediatric health care services in South Florida, as well as nationally, and has raised over $85 million dollars since its inception in 2004.
In 2015, Jack and Barbara’s efforts for impacting pediatric health care reached a significant milestone when Miami Children’s Health System renamed its flagship hospital Nicklaus Children’s Hospital. In November of 2017, Miami Children’s Health System underwent a system-wide rebranding and became Nicklaus Children’s Health System. This includes 14 outpatient facilities located throughout Florida.
In October 2010, Jack and Barbara were inducted into the International Pediatric Hall of Fame.
Focused on growing the game of golf, Jack has spoken before the U.S. Congress three times on the character–building aspects of the game. He is a trustee and national chair of The First Tee, and in 2017, Jack and the Nicklaus Companies became a trustee of the PGA of America, where Nicklaus is a spokesperson for PGA REACH—the charitable arm of the PGA of America, with focuses on youth, military, and diversity and inclusion.
Residing in North Palm Beach, Florida, since 1965 and in the same home they have lived since 1970, Jack and Barbara Nicklaus are parents to five children and grandparents to 22.