In advance of the 38th Memorial Tournament next week in Dublin, Ohio, U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and U.S. Congressman Pat Tiberi (R-OH-12) have renewed a bicameral legislative push to award the Congressional Gold Medal to Ohio native Jack Nicklaus in recognition of his service to the nation in promoting excellence and good sportsmanship in golf. Portman originally introduced the measure in May 2012, and companion legislation passed the House during the 112th Congress.
"As perhaps the greatest golfer of all time, Jack Nicklaus has already earned legendary status for his athletic achievements, his true sportsmanship on the golf course, and his promotion of the game," Portman said. "Yet in addition to Jack's career in golf, he also deserves recognition for his philanthropic efforts in communities across our nation. Jack and Barbara have positively impacted the lives of thousands of children and their families through the Nicklaus Children's Health Care Foundation and other initiatives. We should recognize this native Ohioan for his extraordinary accomplishments."
"Jack Nicklaus is truly a living legend. His accomplishments on the golf course are amazing, but the work the Golden Bear does to help those in need, especially children, is truly remarkable," Tiberi said. "His work to raise funds and further causes to improve children's health, support the well-being of less fortunate children, and help improve the lives of wounded and disabled veterans is inspirational."
Since 1776, a diverse group of individuals has been honored with the Congressional Gold Medal, including Sir Winston Churchill, Bob Hope, George Washington, Robert Frost, Joe Louis, and Mother Teresa of Calcutta. Recent recipients include golfing legend Arnold Palmer, Neil A. Armstrong, the first human to walk on the Moon, Edwin E. "Buzz" Aldrin, Jr., Michael Collins, and John Herschel Glenn, Jr.
Nicklaus was born in Upper Arlington, Ohio, and founded the Memorial Tournament, which is a PGA Tour golf tournament played on a Nicklaus-designed course in Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio.