Lee Elder, a barrier-breaking golfer who was the first Black man to play in the Masters, passed away on Monday at 87, according to the PGA Tour. “We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Lee Elder,” said Fred Ridley, chairman of Augusta National Golf Club and the Masters. “Lee was an inspiration to so many young men and women of color not only through his play but also through his commitment to education and community. Lee will always be a part of the history of the Masters Tournament. His presence will be sorely missed, but his legacy will continue to be celebrated.”
Elder, who’s cause of death has not been released, was a golfing trailblazer who helped other players like Tiger Woods find their footing in what was once a segregated sport. Elder received an invitation to the 1975 Augusta National, an all-white tournament, after winning the Monsanto Open. Though he didn’t make it past the first cut, Elder solidified his significant place in history and became one of golf’s most recognizable faces.