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Who is Lee Elder's wife Sharon as pioneering golfer dies?

Joshua Rogers November 29, 2021
lee elder wife sharon elder
Photo by Amanda Edwards/Getty Images

Who is Lee Elder’s family, including wife Sharon, after the pioneering black golfer sadly passed away aged 87?

Pioneering golf legend Lee Elder has died at the age of 87, according to multiple reports.

Elder was the first black golfer to play at the Masters, competing at the 1975 edition of the tournament.

He would go on to play in the Masters six times in his career with a best finish of tied 17th.

Elder was honoured at the 2021 Masters this year, joining Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player as an honorary starter in the ceremonial first tee shot to begin the tournament.

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Lee Elder’s golf career in more detail

Robert Lee Elder was born on 14 July 1934 in Dallas, Texas, as one of ten children to Charles and Almeta Elder.

Elder joined the US Army at a young age but left in 1961. He went on to join the United Golfers Association Tour for black players, which is where his pro career really took off.

Not only was he a pioneer in becoming the first black player to play in the Masters, Elder also collected four PGA Tour titles in his career. In 1979 he became the first African-American to feature in the Ryder Cup for Team USA.

Photo by Stan Badz/PGA

Lee Elder’s family and wife, Sharon Elder

The golfer met his first wife, Rose Harper, at a golf tournament in Washington, DC. They tied the knot in 1966.

After getting married, Rose gave up her golfing career to become his manager, but they divorced several years later.

Lee’s second wife was Sharon Elder, whom he was married to for more than four decades. According to Golf Digest, Lee and his wife Sharon rented a home together in an upscale San Diego neighbourhood.

Sharon Elder is believed to be in her 70s. There aren’t a lot of photos or information on her, but she has been spotted with Lee at various dinner and red carpet events.

It isn’t known whether Lee and Sharon Elder had children. However, after the ceremonial opening drive at Augusta this year, when he received a standing ovation from the crowd, Lee did pay tribute to his family.

“I certainly want to say thank you so very much for this great opportunity,” Elder said afterwards. “For me and my family, I think it was one of the most emotional experiences I have ever witnessed or been involved in.

Our thoughts go out to Sharon and the rest of Lee’s family.

Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
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Joshua is a senior sports writer with over four years' experience in online writing. He graduated with a BA in Ancient History from The University of Manchester before receiving an MA in Sports Journalism from The University of Central Lancashire. He became a trending writer for a leading social publisher and later spent time covering the 2018 World Cup for The Mirror Online. He then moved to a social marketing agency where he acted as website editor. His specialties on The Focus include F1, tennis, NBA, NFL and combat sports.