Joseph Dey

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Joe Dey
Born Joseph Charles Dey, Jr.
(1907-11-17)November 17, 1907
Norfolk, Virginia, U.S.
Died March 3, 1991(1991-03-03) (aged 83)
Locust Valley, New York
Cause of death Cancer
Residence Locust Valley, New York
Alma mater University of Pennsylvania
Occupation USGA Executive Director
PGA Tour Commissioner
Spouse(s) Rosalie Knapp Dey
(m. 1933−1990, her death)
Children 1 son
Military career
Allegiance  United States
Service/branch  United States Navy[1]
Battles/wars World War II

Joseph Charles "Joe" Dey, Jr. (November 17, 1907 – March 3, 1991) was an American golf administrator and a member of the World Golf Hall of Fame.[2]

Early years[edit]

Born in Norfolk, Virginia, Dey grew up in New Orleans, Louisiana,[3] and attended the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.[2] A skilled amateur golfer, Dey dropped out of college to become a sportswriter for New Orleans and Philadelphia newspapers and magazines. He eventually specialized in golf, and covered the final leg of Bobby Jones' Grand Slam at Merion Golf Club in suburban Philadelphia in 1930.

Golf administrator[edit]

Soon afterwards, Dey was approached by the United States Golf Association and offered a job helping to run its New York office. He served as Executive Director of the USGA from 1934 to 1968, during a period of extraordinary growth in the sport. Dey played a key role in meetings between the USGA and the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews in the early 1950s, to standardize the rules of golf around the world.

Following his retirement from the USGA, Dey was asked to serve as the first commissioner of the PGA Tour in January 1969, shortly after the tour players broke away from the PGA of America.[4][5] During Dey's leadership the tour was known as the Tournament Players Division of the PGA. He held that position for five years, succeeded by tour player Deane Beman in 1974.[1][6] Dey was the originator of The Players Championship, first held in 1974.

Later years[edit]

After retirement, Dey held the honorary position of Captain of The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews for 1975.[3] He was elected to the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1975, its second year of existence.[7]


After a battle with cancer, Dey died at age 83 at his home on Long Island at Locust Valley, New York. His wife of 53 years, the former Rosalie Knapp, had died the previous year.[2]


Since 1996, the USGA has given out the Joe Dey Award in recognition of meritorious service to the game of golf as a volunteer.


  1. ^ a b "Dey named new player commissioner". Lodi News-Sentinel. (California). UPI. January 23, 1969. p. 10. 
  2. ^ a b c Diaz, Jaime (March 5, 1991). "Joseph C. Dey Jr., administrator and arbiter of golf, dead at 83". New York Times. (obituary). Retrieved May 9, 2017. 
  3. ^ a b Barkow, Al (1986). Gettin' to the Dance Floor: The Oral History of American Golf. Atheneum Press. ISBN 978-0689115172. 
  4. ^ "Rebel golfers number 205: pros form APG". Eugene Register-Guard. (Oregon). Associated Press. August 20, 1968. p. 3B. 
  5. ^ "Touring golf pros set up own shop". Milwaukee Journal. August 20, 1968. p. 11. 
  6. ^ "Beman faces change, challenge in golf". Lakeland Ledger. (Florida). January 6, 1974. p. 6C. 
  7. ^ Smith, Douglas LaRue (October 1, 2003), The 104th U.S. Amateur Championship 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Commissioner of the PGA Tour
Succeeded by
Deane Beman