George Archers Widow Reveals Lifelong Secret


NEW YORK -- George Archer, the former Masters champion who died in September, kept a lifelong secret that his widow reveals in the latest issue of Golf for Women magazine.
He was illiterate.
Despite years of effort, he never learned to read beyond a rudimentary level, and he never could write more than a few crude sentences, Donna Archer wrote in an article titled, The Secret They Shared, a moving account of their marriage. Over the years, George had become incredibly adept at covering up his disability.
The 65-year-old Archer died in September. He won 12 times on the PGA Tour, including his 1969 victory at Augusta National. Mrs. Archer says her husband worried about going back to the Masters to defend his title.
He was afraid that fans would want him to personalize the autographs he signed or that hed have to read some prepared sentences on television, she wrote. I talked him into going back, and he enjoyed it.
She said his condition today likely would be diagnosed as severe dyslexia exacerbated by a nonverbal learning disability. They hired tutors and consulted experts, but she said his condition was too severe.
Eventually, he was able to get through an article on the sports page, and he learned to write his name for autographs, she wrote. But that was it.
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