PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. - Pebble Beach golf icon RJ Harper has died after a 14 month battle with pancreatic cancer.
Pebble Beach Company said Harper died Wednesday at the age of 61.
Harper played baseball and football at Rhodes College in Tennessee. In 1985, he and his wife traveled across country to Pebble Beach. Through the years Harper rose through the ranks at Pebble Beach Co. from the Golf Course Marshal to Pebble Beach Head Golf Professional and finally EVP of Golf (and Retail) for the Pebble Beach Co.
"His charismatic personality, one of a kind smile, and outgoing nature endeared him to countless Pebble Beach employees and guests," said the Pebble Beach Co.
Harper had been with Pebble Beach Co. for 32 years. One of his many accomplishments include serving Pebble Beach Head Golf Professional during the 1992 U.S. Open, as Championship Director of the 2000 U.S. Open and a General Chairman of the 2010 and 2019 U.S. Opens at Pebble Beach.
Harper loved to help many high school and college golf coaches throughout the nation. During RJ's career he coached the women's basketball team at Monterey Peninsula College and football at Stevenson School.
"All of us at Pebble Beach Company and throughout the golf world are heartbroken by the news of RJ's passing," said Pebble Beach Company CEO Bill Perocchi who worked with RJ for 18 years.
A celebration of life will be held on November 21, 2017 at 9 a.m. on the 18th lawn of Pebble Beach Golf Links. Instead of flowers the family requests donations to either the RJ Harper Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund at Stanford University or to a charity of one's choice that focuses on assisting underprivileged children.