Congressman Baca Sponsors Bill To Honor Philanthropist and Golf Icon Jack Nicklaus with Congressional Gold Medal

(Congressional Documents and Publications/ContentWorks via COMTEX) — Washington, DC – Today, Congressman Joe Baca (D-Rialto, CA) introduced legislation in the House of Representatives to award the Congressional Gold Medal to philanthropist and world famous golf professional Jack Nicklaus. The Jack Nicklaus Congressional Gold Medal Act officially recognizes Nicklaus for his service to the United States in promoting excellence and good sportsmanship through golf.

“Jack Nicklaus is a true humanitarian and a giant among golfers,” said Rep. Baca. “Through his dedication to helping others, his success in business, and his prowess on the links – Mr. Nicklaus has grown his sport and served as an exemplary American. I am proud to introduce this legislation, recognizing him for his many charitable contributions and his outstanding service to the nation.” Serving as an original co-sponsor, and the Republican lead on the legislation is Rep. Tom Rooney (R-FL).

Rep. Rooney said, “I had the honor to grow up around Mr. Nicklaus and attend high school with his children in North Palm Beach. He was very active in our school activities, especially sports – at our football and basketball games, he was always in the stands. We all knew he was a great golfer, but mostly we just saw him as a great dad. I’m proud to cosponsor this legislation honoring Mr. Nicklaus for his tireless efforts off the golf course to give back to his community.” Through his charitable foundation, Jack Nicklaus has raised over $19 million to support pediatric health services for countless children in Florida and across the nation. He also serves as a spokesperson and trustee for The First Tee program, which is dedicated to bringing the game of golf to children who would otherwise not be exposed to it. In addition Mr. Nicklaus serves as Honorary Chair for the American Lake Veterans Golf Course in Tacoma, Washington, a course designed for the rehabilitation of wounded and disabled veterans.

Also known as the “Golden Bear,” Jack Nicklaus is not only a world famous golf professional, but also a highly successful business executive, a prominent advertising spokesman, and a devoted husband, father, and grandfather. He has been the recipient of countless honors including virtually every national award in golf, the 2005 Presidential Medal of Freedom, and Sports Illustrated‘s award for Best Individual Male Athlete of the 20th Century.

“I truly believe that Jack Nicklaus is deserving of this honor,” concluded Rep. Baca. “He has contributed significantly to American society and culture, and has been a true champion for pediatric health services through his work in the (Nicklaus Children’s Health Care Foundation). He is an outstanding role model for America’s young people.”