During Hogan’s prime years of 1938 through 1959, he won 63 professional golf tournaments despite the interruption of his career by World War II and a near-fatal car accident. Hogan served in the U.S. Army Air Forces from March 1943 to June 1945; he was stationed at Fort Worth, Texas, and became a utility pilot with the rank of lieutenant.
Hogan and his wife Valerie survived a head-on collision with a Greyhound bus on a fog-shrouded bridge, early in the morning, east of Van Horn, Texas on February 2, 1949. Hogan threw himself across Valerie in order to protect her. He would have been killed had he not done so, because the steering column punctured the driver’s seat.
This accident left Hogan, age 36, with a double-fracture of the pelvis, a fractured collar bone, a left ankle fracture, a chipped rib, and near-fatal blood clots: he would suffer lifelong circulation problems and other physical limitations. His doctors said he might never walk again, let alone play golf competitively. While Hogan was in the hospital, his life was endangered by a blood clot problem that led doctors to tie off the vena cava. Hogan left the hospital on April 1, 59 days after the accident.
Hogan regained his strength by extensive walking and resumed his golf activities in November 1949. He returned to the PGA Tour to start the 1950 season at the Los Angeles Open, where he tied with Sam Snead over 72 holes, but lost the 18-hole playoff
One Iron: Legendary golfer Ben Hogan. June 10, 1950 US Open forth round. Limited edition of 1000. Beautifully framed, a stunning piece.