Willliam Powell, best known for breaking the race barrier in professional golf and served as a catalyst for the professional women's golf surge, passed away on December 31st at the age of 93.
According to Emily Kay of the Boston Golf Examiner, Powell was the recipient of the PGA of America’s Distinguished Service Award in 2009 for his work in building diversity in golf. His daughter, Renee Powell was the second African-American to compete on the LPGA Tour. As owner and architect of Clearview Golf Club in North Canton, OH Powell sought to provide a golf course open to all races during a whites-only period for most public and private courses in the United States.
"I hope that I have created more awareness about what Clearview is all about,"
Powell said in November following his Northern Ohio PGA Hall of Fame induction,
according to the PGA of America. "We have had many people come to visit us,
including some from Canada. They now know who we are. I watched on TV golf being
played in Shanghai, China, and I do believe that the game of golf is the best
vehicle to rid hate in the world."
Thanks to the many contributions by Powell, the First Tee has since awarded over 1000 William J. Powell scholarships to underprivileged children wishing to attend a First Tee Academy.