Barbara is about to meet her future husband, Jack Nicklaus.
“She introduced me to Jack,” Barbara recalled, “and she had to go to class, so Jack walked me down to the bacteriology building where I was working my way through college.”
Barbara gave Jack her phone number, and he called her that night. At 17 years old, Jack was smart enough to know he had just found his soulmate. Sure, they were young, but they would grow up together.
“It didn’t take me long to figure out that our chance meeting … was a stroke of good fortune.”
— Jack Nicklaus
“It didn’t take me long to figure out that our chance meeting … was a stroke of good fortune,” he said.
At the end of their sophomore year in 1959, Jack gave Barbara his fraternity pin. They became engaged on Christmas day, and were married the next July. This year they’ll celebrate their 57th anniversary. In a lifestyle that can be challenging for any couple — the constant travel, the long hours at the course — they’ve been as successful as any. Family, not golf, has always been their top priority.
It’s these numbers — five children, 22 grandchildren — that are most important to Jack Nicklaus.
“All these years later, with all the good things that have happened to me, I still believe that Barbara has been the most precious gift in my life,” he said “She has been my foundation, my voice of reason, my sounding board, my biggest supporter, my best friend and the love of my life.”