Hi, I'm Joe Chiodo for About.com. Today, we're talking about the career of one of golf's all-time greats, The Golden Bear, Jack Nicklaus.The greatest ever. It's a title which is always up for debate in sports. But Jack Nicklaus is atop the conversation when it comes to golf. His 18 major tournament victories rank number one all time in the sport. He is one of only five golfers to have ever won all four major championships, called the Grand Slam -- The Masters, the PGA Championship, the U.S. Open and the British Open.Jack Nicklaus was born January 21, 1940, in Columbus, Ohio. An all around athlete, Jack was a good enough basketball player to garner interest from Ohio State University, where he attended school on a golf scholarship. There, he won the U.S. Amateur competition twice, and an NCAA Championship as well.Jack Nicklaus turned pro in 1961, but didn't officially join the PGA Tour until the following year. His first professional win came at the 1962 U.S. Open where he defeated the heavily favored Arnold Palmer in a Sunday playoff at Oakmont. It would become the first of many showdowns between the legendary pair.In 1963, Nicklaus won two more majors: The PGA Championship and The Masters. He would go on to win:For a total of 18 Majors in 24 years. That ranks number one on the list of Major Championship wins. Only Tiger Woods and Walter Hagen have also achieved double-digit wins in the professional majors over their careers. Not only did Nicklaus win golf's career grand slam, but he also recorded wins in four different majors on the Champions Tour.As much as his accomplishments on the course, Nicklaus has also done much off of it, as a philanthropist, businessman and golf course designer. He has been involved in the design of more than 365 golf courses around the world.Nicklaus has been named the Golfer of the Century, Individual Male Athlete of the Century and one of the Ten Greatest Athletes of the Century by various sports publications.He was awarded The Presidential Medal of Freedom by U.S. President George Bush in 2005, the highest honor given to any civilian.And that's a short look at the life and career of legendary golfer Jack Nicklaus. I'm Joe Chiodo. For more information, be sure to check out About.com.
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