LEE ELDERThe first African-American to play in the Masters (1975)
The Lee Elder Foundation
The Lee Elder Foundation breaks down barriers to success for underprivileged children and adults by providing more opportunities to succeed in sports, business, and life.
Elder was born in Dallas, Texas on, July 14, 1934. When he was 9 years old, his father died during World War II and his mother died soon after, which lead him to living with his aunt. At the age of 12, he began caddying at an all white golf club to earn money. He took an interest in golf and was allowed to practice his game after hours on the back holes. Through developing his game at any opportunity, he began meeting mentors and people who would soon change his career. Elder was drafted into the army and served from 1959 to 1961.
As the first African American to play at the Masters Tournament in 1975, Elder has faced much hardship in his life. In 1978, he also became the first African American to play in the Ryder Cup. Elder is now retired and is temporarily residing in San Diego, California. He will be an Honorary Starter for the 2021 Masters Tournament in April alongside Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player.
AUGUSTA, GA – APRIL 1975: Lee Elder hitting a pitch shot on day 2 of the 1975 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club.
(Photo by Augusta National/Getty Images)
AUGUSTA, GA – November 2020: Lee Elder being honored at the 2020 Masters Tournament