Charles Sifford was an African-American championship golfer who was instrumental in desegregating the PGA.
Born on June 2, 1922, in Charlotte, North Carolina, Charles Sifford developed a passion for golf, going on to win multiple Negro Open championships and challenging the Professional Golf Association's whites-only rule.
Sifford was a quick learner, however, and by the age of 13 he could shoot par. He realized then that he wanted to make golf his full-time job. He also realized that he wanted what, to many, seemed impossible: the chance to play in golf's biggest tournaments against its best players.
It took a few years, but in 1967 Sifford made history again when he won the Greater Hartford Open—the first fully sanctioned PGA event ever won by an African American. Two years later he raised another trophy when he took home the top score at the 1969 Los Angeles Open. The excitment for everyone, both black and white, around Sifford's wins was palpable.
Sifford succeeded in desegregating the organization despite harassment and death threats, and was a contender in subsequent PGA tours. He wrote the 1992 autobiography Let Me Play. Sifford died on February 3, 2015, at age 92.