The King's Man: Donald (Doc) Giffin

The King’s Man: Donald (Doc) Giffin

"I almost feel like a brother to Arnold." - Doc Giffin
Fred Vuich/SI

Donald (Doc) Giffin
Age: 82
Job: Arnold Palmer’s assistant, ghostwriter and confidant for almost five decades


The job defies a description. I was a newspaperman when I met Arnold. By 1966 he needed a personal assistant [and] asked me to work for him. I have a drawer in which I put anything I consider pertinent to Arnold — articles, newspaper clippings. I’m not overly literate electronically. Arnold has an iPad, but I’m old-fashioned. I almost feel like a brother to Arnold. I’m still going, but I’m not going as strong. Yet I intend to keep working. It’s not like we have a logical successor.


I do have an iPad! Doc has done everything — taken care of my press relationships; any time we had books or anything to write, I’d give him the lines and he’d write the stuff. Sometimes he gets wordy, but he’s very good. There are things he knows about me that no one else knows, and that’s the way it should be. He better not retire. I don’t know what I’ll do when he’s not around.”

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