Freemasonry, the teachings and practices of the secret order of Free and Accepted Masons, is the largest worldwide fraternity that evolved from the guilds of stonemasons and cathedral builders of the Middle Ages. The group represents virtually every occupation and profession, yet within the Fraternity, all meet as equals. Masons come from diverse political ideologies, religious beliefs and creeds, yet all believe in one God and provide many services to their local communities.
Masonry has been a distinguished organization for centuries with the official beginning in 1717 with the founding of the Grand Lodge in England, although Freemason societies have existed much longer.
Thanks to popular culture and movie lore, it’s common knowledge that many of the founding fathers were Masons, including George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Paul Revere and John Hancock. With millions of members, it’s no surprise this influential group has had powerful members, but there are quite a few people you probably didn’t realize were Masons.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Initiated in 1784, Mozart, the son of a Freemason, created a number of Masonic musical numbers during his prolific career. He was a part of the Zur Wohltätigkeit (Charity) Lodge, Austria.
Initiated in 1803, South American liberator and political leader Bolívar is one of the great heroes of the struggle for independence from the Spanish Empire. His lodge, the Masonic Lodge “Lautaro” out of Cadiz, Spain, was also home to many other South American founding fathers.
Initiated in 1861, Twain was a member of the Polar Star Lodge No. 79, A.F.&A.M. in St. Louis, and became a Master Mason within a few months of joining.
Edwin Eugene (Buzz) Aldrin, Jr.
Aldrin, the first Mason on the moon, carried a handmade silk Masonic flag with him on his space journey, embroidered with the words, “Supreme Council, 33°, Southern Jurisdiction, USA.”
Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr.
Initiated in 1987, Jackson also earned the rank of Master Mason that same year. He continues his work with the Masons, as well as in civil rights discrimination, to this day.
Houdini, the Hungarian-born illusionist, most commonly known for illusions such as his suspended straitjacket escape, was also a Freemason.
One of the biggest movie stars of all time, Wayne, AKA The Duke and born Marion Robert Morrison, followed in the footsteps of his father and became a Freemason in 1970.
General Douglass MacArthur
Considering Masonic history, it’s not surprising that many military leaders were Masons. General MacArthur was made a Mason “at sight” by Samuel Hawthorne, an incredibly high honor reserved for exceptional cases.
Presidents known to be Masons include George Washington, James Monroe, Andrew Jackson, James Polk, James Buchanan, Andrew Johnson, James Garfield, William McKinley, Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, Warren Harding, Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Lyndon Johnson and Gerald Ford.
7 Sports Stars
Arnold Palmer, Shaquille O’Neal, Tim Horton, Sugar Ray Robinson, Honus Wagner, John Elway and Scottie Pippen are known to be Masons.
There are many celebrated Masons, which is why IBGoodman is pleased to be a leading manufacturer of Masonic jewelry, including rings and accessories. We pay close attention to every detail in order to faithfully recreate the iconic Masonic emblems, honoring the esteemed accomplishments they symbolize. We respect Masonic accomplishments and rank, and we honor them by going to great lengths to ensure your jewelry is exceptional in every way. For our latest updates, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn or Instagram!
Since 1937, the team at IBGoodman has looked forward to helping our clients find the best gifts for the important people in their lives. In this year’s gift guide, you’ll find options for nearly every budget, so read on and let us help you find just the right gift.