Rodríguez, Chi Chi (1935—)

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Rodríguez, Chi Chi (1935—)

One of golf's all-time greats, Juan "Chi Chi" Rodríguez was the first Hispanic to become an international champion in golf. Born Juan Rodríguez in Río Piedras, Puerto Rico, on October 23, 1935 into an extremely impoverished family, Rodríguez found his way into golf as a caddy on the links that served Puerto Rico's booming tourism. His is one of the most famous Hispanic "rags to riches through sports" tales, his career earnings having passed the $3 million mark. Included among the important tournaments that he has won are the Denver Open (1963), the Lucky Strike International Open (1964), the Western Open (1964), the Dorado Pro-Am (1965), the Texas Open (1967), and the Tallahassee Open (1979). As a member of the Senior PGA (Professional Golfers' Association) Tour, he won numerous tournaments, including the Silver Pages Classic (1987), the GTE Northwest Classic (1987), and the Sunwest Senior Classic (1990).

—Nicolás Kanellos

Further Reading:

Kanellos, Nicolás. Hispanic American Almanac. Detroit, Gale, 1997.

Tardiff, Joseph T., and L. Mpho Mabunda, editors. Dictionary of Hispanic Biography. Detroit, Gale, 1996.

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Rodríguez, Chi Chi (1935—)

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