Inducted – 2000
One of the co-founders of the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) in 1950, Marilynn Smith is a giant among the greatest names associated with women’s athletics through the world. At the age of 17, she won the first of three straight Kansas Women’s Amateur Championships, 1946–48. In 1949, she was the Women’s Intercollegiate Golf champion while competing for Kansas University. Later that year, she turned professional and signed a contract with the Spalding Sporting Goods Company which carried the “Marilynn Smith” club for 27 years. During her career, Smith won 22 LPGA victories and had career earnings of nearly $300,000 from 1949–85. She won the 1963 and ’64 Titleholders Championships and also served three terms as President of the LPGA while still competing. Smith won at least one tour event in 14 of the 19 seasons from 1954 to 1972. One of golf’s goodwill ambassadors, Smith has visited all 50 states and 36 countries and established an international following of fans throughout the world. She is one of America’s most honored professional golfers as the first recipient of the prestigious Patti Berg Award in 1979, Golf Digest’s Founders’ Cup Award in 1983 and the Vincent T. Lombardi Tournament of Champions Award in 1987. That same year, Smith helped to create the first women’s Senior Professional Golf Tournament in the world, “The Marilynn Smith Founders’ Classic” to benefit handicapped children. Born 1929; Graduated Wichita East (KS) H.S., 1947; attended Kansas University.