WASHINGTON, D.C. – Retired pro golfer Charles Sifford, a Brecksville resident who broke the Professional Golfers' Association's color barrier, desegregating the professional sport's highest ranks in 1960, will be awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the White House said late today.
Sifford, 92, was inspired by Jackie Robinson, who broke the color barrier in major league baseball. According to the World Golf Hall of Fame, which inducted Sifford in 2004, Sifford told Robinson that he planned to follow in his footsteps.
"He asked me if I was a quitter," Sifford said of Robinson, according to the Hall of Fame, where Sifford was the first African-American inducted. "He said, 'OK, if you're not a quitter, go ahead and take the challenge. If you're a quitter, there's going to be a lot of obstacles you're going to have to go through to be successful in what you're trying to do."
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