The Columbus Dispatch
Lee Elder, 1st Black golfer to play Masters, dies at age 87
Lee Elder, who broke down racial barriers as the first Black golfer to play in the Masters and paved the way for Tiger Woods and others to follow, has died at the age of 87.
No cause was given, but the tour confirmed Elder’s death with his family. He had been in poor health and wore an oxygen tube beneath his nose when he appeared at the opening of the Masters in April. The tour said he died early Sunday in Escondido, California.
A Texan who developed his game during segregated times while caddying and hustling for rounds, Elder made history in 1975 at Augusta National, which had held an all-white tournament until he received an invitation after winning the Monsanto Open the previous year.
Elder missed the cut at his first Masters but forever stamped himself as a groundbreaking figure in a sport that had never been known for racial tolerance.