Fred Raphael, 80, an innovator in the early days of televised golf whose work led to the creation of the Senior PGA Tour, died Tuesday of liver cancer in Bridgehampton, N.Y.
As an executive with Filmways, an international television production company, he helped create “Shell’s Wonderful World of Golf.” The Emmy Award-winning show featured 18-hole matches from all over the world with top players such as Sam Snead, Byron Nelson, Ben Hogan, Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player and Arnold Palmer.
Raphael also helped develop the Legends of Golf in 1978, which was first played in Austin, Texas, and broadcast by NBC. That tournament inspired officials to create the senior tour two years later.
“Everyone involved in golf today owes him an important debt of gratitude,” said PGA Commissioner Tim Finchem.
Raphael was a native of Union City, N.J., and a veteran of World War II.