We all know that former U.S. President George Washington was a Freemason. And many of us will be privy to the fact that many other esteemed past political figures were also brothers within the Craft, as Freemasonry has long attracted prominent and influential societal figures.
But it’s not just politicians that have become Freemasons in times gone by. In this post, we will introduce you to four famous and influential men from history, that you maybe didn’t realize were indeed Freemasons.
1. Clark Gable
Often referred to as ‘The King of Hollywood,’ celebrated film actor Clark Gable starred in more than sixty motion pictures throughout his career, after making a name for himself in silent films in Hollywood during the jazz age of the 1920s. He is perhaps best known for his roles in Gone with the Wind (1939) and It Happened One Night (1934). He progressed to the third degree of Freemasonry at a ceremony in Beverly Hills Lodge, No. 528, in October 1933.
2. Oscar Wilde
The enigmatic Irish poet and Playwright Oscar Wilde made a name for himself in London towards the end of the nineteenth century. His most revered work, The Picture of Dorian Gray, is what he is most commonly known for in the present day. His involvement within the Craft only spanned the four-year period that he studied at Magdalen College in Oxford England, but it is thought by English literature scholars that some of Wilde’s writing was influenced by his infatuation with the Craft.
3. John Wayne
The Duke, as John Wayne is affectionately known, is widely regarded as the face of the American Western movie. Appearing in more than 170 films throughout his life, only fellow Mason Clark Gable sold more box office tickets than John Wayne, and his roles in classical Westerns Sands of Iwo Jima (1950), The Alamo (1961), and True Grit (1970), will live long in the memories of his fans. As a Mason, John Wayne was a member of Marion McDaniel Lodge, No. 56 in Tucson, Arizona, and went on to become a member of the esteemed York Rite.
4. Harry Houdini
Hungarian-born American illusionist and stunt performer Harry Houdini, was cherished and loved for his incredible ability to escape from the most extraordinary of situations. One of his most famous acts, the Milk Can Escape, was also one of his most daring. In front of a live audience, Houdini was handcuffed and sealed inside an oversized milk can filled with water, only to escape from behind a curtain. Throughout his life, he was an active Mason, and was a member of St. Cecile Lodge No. 568 in New York City.
Freemasonry has attracted men from all walks of life throughout the past three centuries, which is one of the most alluring and attractive things about the Craft. If you know of other prominent Masons that inspire you, feel free to drop a comment below and let us know.