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Ken Venturi

  • Sport: Golf
  • Decade Inducted: 80s

A winner of 14 PGA titles, he knew at the age of 13 that competitive golf would be his life’s passion.

Born in San Francisco, California on May 15, 1931, Ken Venturi knew at the age of 13 that competitive golf would be his life’s passion.

Venturi turned professional in 1956, and the next year won the first of his 14 PGA titles. In 1964, Venturi beat the competition – and the threat of heat exhaustion – to win the US Open in Washington, DC. His accomplishment earned him a nod as PGA Player of the Year and Sports Illustrated’s Sportsman of the Year. The following year, Venturi was chosen for the Ryder Cup Team.

Carpal tunnel syndrome forced Venturi to retire at 33, but he reemerged as a cherished and honored golf commentator for CBS Sports. He retired from CBS after 32 years, the longest stint as lead analyst in televised sports history.

Venturi was inducted into the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame in 1983. In 1999, he received the PGA’s Lifetime Achievement in Journalism. The following year, he was appointed US President’s Cup Team Captain.