The golf world already knew that Jack Nicklaus was a great Ohioan, but the state of Ohio made it official on Friday.
Nicklaus is one of three recipients of the Great Ohioans Award for 2016, the Capital Square Foundation and the Capitol Square Review and Advisory Board announced. The others were industrialist and philanthropist John D. Rockefeller and U.S. Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart.
The three will be featured in a permanent Great Ohioan exhibit in the Ohio Statehouse Museum, along with 39 previous recipients of the award that began in 2003.
“I believe this class of Great Ohioans will serve to inspire future generations of Ohio leaders and represents the great wealth of talent that the Buckeye State has produced since statehood in 1803,” Ohio House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger told the Columbus Dispatch.
The criteria for the award winners states they “Must be an individual Ohioan or group of Ohioans who have made a significant or lasting contribution to the World, American or Ohio history; and Must have been born in Ohio or lived in Ohio for a minimum of five years.”
Nicklaus hails from Columbus, the state capital. He is the sixth figure from the sports world to be so honored, joining Bill Willis and Paul Brown from football, Cy Young and Bob Feller from baseball, and Jesse Owens from track and field.