Pete Cooper

Class of: 1987

Sport: Golf

Richard Bernice “Pete” Cooper (December 31, 1914 – October 8, 1993) was an American professional golfer on the PGA Tour in the 1940s and 1950s; he was best known for winning the 1976 PGA Seniors’ Championships.

Cooper turned professional in 1938. In the 10-year span between 1949 and 1958, he won five official PGA Tour events and had runner-up finishes in the 1950 Houston Open and the 1955 Tournament of Champions. His best finish in a major was tied for 4th at the 1953 U.S. Open. He helped a young Chi Chi Rodriguez improve enough to secure a spot on the PGA Tour. Cooper won the 1976 PGA Seniors’ Championship at the age of 61 with a four-day total of 283 over runner-up Fred Wampler. The tournament was held at Walt Disney World in Orlando.

Cooper lived in Lakeland, FL, where he owned the Par 3 and Lone Palm Golf Club. He was also active in golf course design.