Famous Masons
        George Washington
        Benjamin Franklin
        U.S. Presidents
        Fine Artists, Composers and Popular Musicians
        Actors and Entertainers
        Writers, Journalists, and Publishers
        American Masonic History

When Americans are asked to name "Famous Masons" two immediately come to mind for most of them, Masonic Brothers George Washington and Benjamin Franklin.

George Washington: Worshipful Master of Alexandria, VA Lodge, was zealous Mason for 47 years.
        Click here for a very large image.

    One of Brother Washington's apron    

Brother George Washington, and others, laying the Corner Stone of the new Capital Building.

"Being persuaded a just application of the principles on which Free Masonry is founded, must be promotive of virtue and public prosperity, I shall always be glad to advance the interests of this Society and be considered by them a deserving brother." - Washington

Benjamin Franklin: First Grand Master of Pennsylvania, also joined Paris Lodge when he was ambassador to France, and helped initiate Voltaire into Masonry.
A picture of Brother Ben found on the internet.   Which is interesting because we found this in the archives of our Lodge.   Both side-by-side

To buy this cool shirt and more, check out Cafepress        

Fifteen U.S. Presidents have been Masons.

George Washington, Fredericksburg Lodge #4 & Alexandria Lodge #22 - VA
James Monroe, Williamsburgh Lodge #6 - VA
Andrew Jackson, Harmony Lodge #1
James Polk, Columbia Lodge #31 - TN
James Buchanan, Lancaster Lodge #43 - Lancaster, PA
Andrew Johnson, Greenville Lodge #119 - TN
James Garfield, Magnolia Lodge #20 - OH
William McKinley, Hiram Lodge #21 - VA
Theodore Roosevelt, Matinecock Lodge #806 - Oyster Bay, NY
William Howard Taft, Kilwinning Lodge #356 - OH
Warren Harding, Marion Lodge #70 - OH
Franklin Roosevelt, Holland Lodge #8 - NY
Harry Truman, 33° Belton Lodge #450 - Belton, MO
Lyndon Johnson, Accepted and received his Entered Apprentice degree, but never advanced beyond that. He said his duties in congress prevented him from going further.
Gerald Ford, Columbia Lodge #3 - Washington, DC, courtesy to Malta Lodge #465 - Grand Rapids, MI; he is the last President to have been a Mason.

President Teddy Roosevelt in Masonic regalia is opening Lodge at the Spokane Masonic Center.

Brother President Harry S. Truman.

Brother President Ford.

An old poster

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Fine Artists, Composers and Popular Musicians - Source Wikipedia Oct. 2009
Roy Acuff, East Nashville Lodge #560 - TN
Johann Bach, Lodge of Nine Muses #235 - London
Josephine Baker - France
Frédéric Bartholdi, Lodge Alsace-Lorraine - Paris
William "Count" Basie, Wisdom Lodge #102 - Chicago, IL
Irving Berlin, Munn Lodge #190 - New York, NY
Gutzon Borglum, Howard Lodge #35 - NY
Roy Clark, Jenks Lodge #497 - OK
George M. Cohan, Pacific Lodge #223 - CA
Nat King Cole, Thomas Waller Lodge #49 - Los Angeles, CA PHA
Phil Collins, Soho Lodge #3
Nate Dogg, Sacramento Lodge #24 - CA
Edward Kennedy "Duke" Ellington, Social Lodge #1 - Washington, DC PHA
Sir Banister Flight Fletcher, Authors Lodge #3456 - London
Sir William S. Gilbert, Lodge St. Machar #54 - Aberdeen, Scotland
Lionel Hampton, Boyer Lodge #1 - New York, NY PHA
William C. Handy, Hiram Lodge #4 - New York, NY PHA
Joseph Haydn, Lodge Zur Wahren Eintracht - Vienna
Franz Liszt, Lodge Zur Einigkeit - Frankfurt
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Lodge Zur Woltatigkeit - Vienna & Lodge Zur Wahren Eintracht
Alfons Mucha, Paris; founder of Czech Freemasonry
Brad Paisley, Hiram Lodge #4 - Franklin, TN
Tex Ritter, Metropolitan Lodge #646 - CA
Jean Sibelius, Suomi Lodge #1 - Helsinki, Finland
John Philip Sousa, Hiram Lodge #10 - Washington, DC
Sir Arthur Sullivan, Past Grand Organist of the United Grand Lodge of England
Mel Tillis, Branson Lodge #587

Actors and Entertainers
Bud Abbott, Daylight Lodge #525 - MI
Cliff Arquette, Ravenwood Lodge #777 - Chicago, IL
Gene Autry, 33°, Grand Cross. Catoosa Lodge #185 - OK
Wallace Beery, Blaney Lodge #271 - IL
Mel Blanc, Mid Day Lodge #188 - OR
Ernest Borgnine, Abingdon Lodge #48 - VA
Eddie Cantor, Munn Lodge #190 - New York, NY
William "Buffalo Bill" Cody, Platte Valley Lodge #15 - NE
Harry H. Corbett, Chevin Lodge #6848 - UK
Charles Correll, Trio Lodge #57 - Chicago, IL
Donald Crisp, Harry S. Orme Lodge #458 - CA
Jim Davidson, British comedian
Cecil B. DeMille, Prince of Orange Lodge #16 - NY
Richard Dix, Harry S. Orme Lodge #458 - CA
Douglas Fairbanks, Beverly Hills Lodge #528 - CA
Glenn Ford, Palisades Lodge #637, CA & Riviera Lodge #780 - CA
W.C. Fields, E. Coppee Mitchell Lodge #605 - Philadelphia, PA
J.D. Fortune, Oakville Lodge #400 - Oakville, ON
Clark Gable, Beverly Hills Lodge #528 - CA
Arthur Godfrey, Acacia Lodge #18 - Washington, DC
Freeman Gosden, Petersburg Lodge #15 - VA
D.W. Griffith, St. Cecile Lodge #568 - NY
Oliver Hardy, Solomon Lodge #20 - Jacksonville, FL
Anthony Harper, Baraboo Lodge #34 - Barbaoo, WI
Harry Houdini Initiated Aug 21, 1923, St. Cecile Lodge #568 - NY
Sir Henry Irving, Jerusalem Lodge #44 - London
Burl Ives, Magnolia (now Magnolia-La Cumbre) Lodge #242 - CA
Al Jolson, St. Cecile Lodge #568 - NY
Harold Lloyd, Hamilton Lodge #535 - Hollywood, CA
Harpo Marx
Cedric The Entertainer, Sacramento Lodge #313 - Sacramento, CA
Louis B. Mayer, St. Cecile Lodge #568 - New York, NY
Tom Mix, Utopia Lodge #537 - CA
Eddie Murphy, Hollywood Lodge #542 - North Hollywood, CA
Bronson Pinchot, Harford Lodge #445 - Hop Bottom, PA
Richard Pryor, Henry Brown Lodge #22 - Peoria, IL
Michael Richards, 33°, Riviera Lodge #780 - CA
Alfred, John, Albert, Charles, William, August and Henry Ringling and their father, August Rüngeling, Baraboo Lodge #34 - Baraboo, WI
Jimmie Rodgers, John L. Spinks Lodge #507 - MS
Roy Rogers, Hollywood Lodge #355 - CA
Will Rogers, Claremore Lodge #53 - OK
Peter Sellers, Chelsea Lodge #3098 - London
Richard "Red" Skelton, Vincennes Lodge #1 - Vincennes, IN
Carl "Alfalfa" Switzer
Robert Pershing Wadlow, Franklin Lodge #25 - Alton, IL
Hal B. Wallis, Prudence Lodge #958 - Chicago, IL
Jack Warner, Mount Olive Lodge #506 - Los Angeles, CA
John Wayne, Marion McDaniel Lodge #56 - Tucson, AZ
Ed Wynn, Philadelphia Lodge #9 - PA
Darryl F. Zanuck, Mount Olive Lodge #506 - Los Angeles, CA
Florenz Ziegfeld, Accordia Lodge #277
Adolph Zukor, Centennial Lodge #763 - New York, NY

Writers, Journalists, and Publishers
Andrew Bell, Lodge St. David #36 - Edinburgh
James Boswell, Master of Canongate Kilwinning Lodge for two terms, Depute GM Scotland 1776-78
Robert Burns, Saint David's Lodge #2174, Tarbolton; many others
Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain), Polar Star Lodge #79 - St. Louis, MO
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Phoenix Lodge #257 - Southsea, Hampshire
Jean-Pierre, Claris de Florian Loge des Neuf Soeurs - Paris
Edward Gibbon, Lodge of Friendship #3 - London
David Goodnow, Lessing Lodge #464 - Evansville, IN
Edgar Guest, Ashler Lodge #91 - Detroit, MI
William Hagan, Euclid Lodge - Stoughton, MA
Rudyard Kipling, Hope and Perseverance Lodge #782. E.C., Lahore, India; founding member, The Builders of the Silent Cities Lodge #12 - St. Omer, France
Mark Lemon, Globe Lodge #23 - London
John B. MacLean, Ionic Lodge #25 - Toronto, ON
Dr. Robert Moray, Edinburgh [Lodge] 1641
Norman Vincent Peale, Midwood Lodge #1062 - Brooklyn, NY
Alexander Pope, Lodge Goat-at-the-Foot-of-the-Haymarket #16 - London
Aleksandr Pushkin, Lodge Ovid - Kischinev
Theodor Reuss, occultist and head of O.T.O., Pilger Loge #238
Rafael Sabatini, Jerusalem Lodge #197 - London
Friedrich Schiller, Rudolstadt Lodge - Berlin
Sir Walter Scott, Saint David Lodge #36 - Edinburgh
Robert W. Service, Yukon Lodge #45 - Dawson City, YT
William Shakespeare is thought by many to have been a Mason, but there is no proof
Gordon Sinclair, John Ross Robertson Lodge #545 - Toronto, ON
Jonathan Swift, Lodge Goat-at-the-Foot-of-the-Haymarket #16 - London, England & Lodge #16 - Dublin, Ireland
Roy Thomson, North Bay Lodge #617
Anthony Trollope, Banagher Lodge #306 - Ireland
Lew Wallace, Fountain Lodge #60 - Covington, IN
Oscar Wilde, Apollo University Lodge #357 - Oxford
Sir P.G. Wodehouse, Jerusalem Lodge #197 - London
Zolliker, J.S., 33°, Grand Lodge Proyeccion Siglo 21 - Mexico

Edwin E. "Buzz" Aldrin, Jr., Clear Lake Lodge #1417 - Seabrook, TX
Leroy Gordon Cooper, Carbondale Lodge N#82 - Carbondale, CO
Donn F. Eisele, Luthor B. Turner Lodge #732 - Columbus, OH
John Glenn, Concord Lodge #688 - Concord, OH
Virgil I. "Gus" Grissom, Mitchell Lodge #228 - Mitchell, IN
James Irwin, Tejon Lodge #104 - Colorado Springs, CO
Edgar Mitchell, Artesia Lodge #28 - Artesia, NM
Walter M. Schirra, Jr., Canaveral Lodge #339 - Cocoa Beach, FL
Thomas Stafford, Western Star Lodge #138 - Weatherford, OK
James E. Webb, University Lodge #408 - Chapel Hill, NC
Paul J. Weitz, Lawrence Lodge #708 - Erie, PA

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This link will take you to a very interesting web page called "Famous Freemasons" were you can find longer, more comprehensive lists.

One of the most fascinating aspects of Freemasonry has been: how so many men, from so many different walks of life, can meet together in peace, never have political or religious debates, always conduct their affairs in harmony and friendship, and call each other "Brother!"

American Masonic History From the "Tabernacle Masonic Lodge #1195" Web Site

John Adams - (Spoke favorably of Freemasonry - never joined)
Samuel Adams - (Close and principle associate of Hancock, Revere & other Masons)
Ethan Allen - Mason
Edmund Burke - Mason
John Claypoole - Mason
William Daws - Mason
Benjamin Franklin - Mason
Nathan Hale - No evidence of Masonic connections
John Hancock - Mason
Benjamin Harrison - No evidence of Masonic connections
Patrick Henry - No evidence of Masonic connections
Thomas Jefferson - (Deist with some evidence of Masonic connections)
John Paul Jones - Mason
Francis Scott Key - No evidence of Masonic connections
Robert Livingston - Mason
James Madison - (Some evidence of Masonic membership)
Thomas Paine - Humanist
Paul Revere - Mason
Colonel Benjamin Tupper - Mason
George Washington - Mason
Daniel Webster - (Some evidence of Masonic connections)
Summary: 10 Masons, 3 probable Masons, 1 Humanist, 2 Advocates of Freemasonry, 4 no record of connections.

Known Masons (8): Benjamin Franklin, John Hancock, Joseph Hewes, William Hooper, Robert Treat Payne, Richard Stockton, George Walton, William Whipple
Evidence of Membership And/or Affiliations (7): Elbridge Gerry, Lyman Hall, Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Nelson Jr., John Penn, George Read, Roger Sherman
Summary: 15 of 56 Signers were Freemasons or probable Freemasons.
It's true that this represents only 27% of the total signers. But this 27% included the principle movers of the Revolution, most notably Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson, the primary authors of the Declaration. The former was a Freemason, the latter a deist and possible Freemason. If one were to analyze the Declaration, he would see their humanistic influences.

Known Masons (9): Gunning Bedford, Jr., John Blair, David Brearly, Jacob Broom, Daniel Carrol, John Dickinson, Benjamin Franklin, Rufus King, George Washington
Evidence of Membership And/or Affiliations (13): Abraham Baldwin, William Blount, Elbridge Gerry, Nicholas Gilman, Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, John Lansing, Jr., James Madison, George Mason, George Read, Robert Morris, Roger Sherman, George Wythe
Those Who Later Became Masons (6): William Richardson Davie, Jr., Jonathan Dayton, Dr. James McHenry, John Francis Mercer, William Patterson, Daniel of St. Thomas Jenifer
Summary: 28 of 40 signers were Freemasons or possible Freemasons based on evidence other than lodge records.

- Lafayette, French liaison to the Colonies, without whose aid the war could not have been won, was a Freemason.
- The majority of the commanders of the Continental Army were Freemasons and members of "Army Lodges."
- Most of Washington's Generals were Freemasons.
- The Boston Tea Party was planned at the Green Dragon Tavern, also known as the Freemasons' Arms, and "the Headquarters of the Revolution."
- George Washington was sworn in as the first President of the United States by Robert Livingston, Grand Master of New York's Masonic lodge. The Bible on which he took his oath was from his own Masonic lodge.
- The Cornerstone of the Capital building was laid by the George Washington and the Grand Lodge of Maryland.

Excerpt of SHORT TALK BULLETIN - Vol.XII   April, 1934   No.4
by: Unknown
"No original documentary evidence is known to be in existence which records the initiation of General Lafayette in the Masonic Fraternity, nor in what Lodge or when it took place.  It has always been a tradition in Masonic circles that General Lafayette was made a Mason in one of the Military Lodges at Morristown, New Jersey, where a Festal Lodge was held December 27, 1797, for which occasion the jewels and furniture and clothing of St. John's Lodge No.1 of Newark, New Jersey, was borrowed.  The meeting proved a great success, sixty-eight brethren being present, one of whom was George Washington.  "There is another tradition that General Lafayette was made a Mason in a Military Lodge which met at Valley Forge during the winter of 1777-78, but no official records of such action have thus far been discovered."
Dr. Fredrick W. Hamilton, Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, eminent and learned Masonic scholar, write (The Builder, March 1921): "Where and when La Fayette was made a Mason is not known.  There are at least two quite different traditions, but neither rests on any very substantial basis or historic fact.  Not improbably it was on the eve of his momentous diplomatic mission to France when he was just twenty-two; almost certainly it was in the Army Lodge; very probably it was at the insistence and in the presence of Washington.  What is more likely than that Washington should have desires to weave the bond of Masonic brotherhood around the young man who was to play so delicate and important a part in the relations between the great Mason who commanded the American Army and the other great Mason, America's greatest diplomat, Benjamin Franklin, who was American Ambassador to the French King.?"
"When La Fayette made his last visit to the United States the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania received him with distinguished honors, but before doing so appointed a committee to investigate and report upon his Masonic regularity.  The committee reported that they had made careful investigation and were fully satisfied, but unfortunately their report gave no information whatever as to the evidence upon which this conclusion was based."
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