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Congratulations to local North Palm Beach resident, professional golfer and respected philanthropist, Jack Nicklaus!  He has been presented with the Congressional Gold Medal. Both houses of Congress honored Nicklaus with the medal March 25, 2015

The Congressional Gold Medal is presented “to persons who have performed an achievement that has an impact on American history and culture that is likely to be recognized as a major achievement in the recipient’s field long after the achievement.”   It one of the two highest awards granted to citizens of the United States.   Nicklaus received the other, Presidential Medal of Freedom, in 2005by President George W. Bush.

He joins the ranks of Roberto Clemente, Joe Louis, Jackie Robinson, Jesse Owens, Byron Nelson and Arnold Palmer as the seventh sportsperson and third golfer to receive the honor.  Over the span of 25 years, Nicklaus’ legendary golf career has seen 18 major championship victories, 19 second place and 9 third place positions.

On hand at the ceremony were Nicklaus’ wife, Barbara, his 5 children and 22 grandchildren and their families.   The Columbus, Ohio native and his wife pledged $60 million to the Miami Children’s Health System through their Nicklaus Children’s Health Care Foundation. $15 million has been appropriated for Jupiter Medical Center, in the Town of Jupiter.

When asked about which of his victories was most notable, Nicklaus said, “I don’t know if I’ve ever had one more important or more memorable than when Barbara Jean Bash became Barbara Nicklaus.”

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