The Library

Gene Sarazen, RIP
By Pat Dolan

Golfers all over the world are mourning the loss of Gene Sarazen born as Eugenio Saraceni in 1902 and who passed away on May 13th, 1999 in Naples, Florida at the age of 97.

Different golfers will remember him for different reasons. Some will remember him for the major tournaments he won. Some will remember him as the host of the Shell's Wonderful World of Golf series. Some will remember him because of his double eagle on the 15th hole in 1935 which helped him win the Masters. Some will remember him as the inventor of the sand wedge.

Yet I will always remember him for the following article which I was given in 1966. My apologies to the original author but the copy of the article which I received never showed a byline and I reprint it here, exactly as it appeared when I received it.

"The Secret of Success"

In 1923, eight of the worlds greatest financial wizards met in Chicago:

    1. The president of the largest steel company.
    2. The president of the largest gas company.
    3. The greatest wheat speculator.
    4. The president of the New York stock exchange. 5. A member of the Presidents Cabinet.
    6. The greatest bear on Wall street.
    7. The head of the Worlds greatest monopoly.
    8. The president of the Bank of International Settlement.

These men certainly should be considered most successful --- at least they found the secret of making money. BUT NOW, 43 years later, Where are they?

    1. The president of the largest steel company, Charles Schwab, died a pauper.
    2. The president of the largest gas company, Howard Hopson went insane.
    3. The greatest wheat speculator, Arthur Cutten, died abroad, insolvent.
    4. The president of the New York stock exchange, Richard Whitney, was released from Sing Sing prison.
    5. A member of the Presidents Cabinet, Arthur Fall was pardoned and released from prison so he could die at home.
    6. The greatest bear on Wall street, Ross Livermore, died a suicide.
    7. The head of the Worlds greatest monopoly, Ryan Krieger, died a suicide.
    8. The president of the Bank of International Settlement, shot himself.

The same year, 1923, the winner of the U.S. Open and the P.G.A. Golf tournament was Gene Sarazen. He's still strong and still playing an excellent game of golf, and very definitely solvent.

Conclusion: Stop worrying about about your money and get out and play golf.

Well, readers, some would say that this letter given to me over 33 years ago is no longer true. Yet this hard headed Irishman would argue it is, you see I personally believe Mr. Sarazen is still strong and still playing an excellent game of golf. I just happen to believe he is doing it on a heavenly course.

The fact that he remained lucid until his death at the age of 97 gives you some idea why so many of us totally love this great game of golf. Rest in Peace, Mr. Sarazen -- and please say hello to all the other great professionals there on the course with you.

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