The first meeting of what would become the Professional Golfers' Association of America (PGA) was hosted by Rodman Wanamaker in New York City. Rodman and his cohorts, including golfer Walter Hagen and course designer A.W. Tillinghast, sought to promote professional golf and golf players through the support of a national organization. The PGA would eventully set itself apart from other amateur golf organization by hosting a yearly, all-professional tournament. Winner of this tournament received the Wanamaker Trophy, and golfers today continue to compete for it every August.
Lewis Rodman Wanamaker was born in 1863 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to John Wanamaker and Mary Erringer Brown. By the time of Rodman's birth, John Wanamaker was on his way to establishing what would become the famed Wanamaker department store with branches in American and Europe. In 1889, Wanamaker, named Rodman manager of Wanamaker's in Paris, France. When John Wanamaker died in 1922, Rodman took over all store operations. In addition to professionalizing golf, Rodman took up other causes during his life, such as documenting the present state of American Indians and sponsoring aviation projects. He died in Atlantic City, New Jersey, in 1928.
Rodman Wanamaker's presence is tangible in HSP's John Wanamaker collection (#2188). In addition to being prevalent among the store records dating from after 1922, the collection also contains a number of Rodman Wanamaker scrapbooks and documentation on his art collections.