Bro. Gary Leazer, 32°
Atlanta, Georgia, Scottish Rite Bodies
Masonic Report, Center for Interfaith Studies

Masonic critics would have a difficult time living in the world today if they tried to avoid anything with which Masons have had a part. For example, Ralph Bellamy, who wrote the Pledge of Allegiance, was a Mason. Frederick A. Bartholdi, a Mason, designed the Statue of Liberty, while father and son Gutzon and Lincoln Borglum, both Masons, carved Mt. Rushmore. Aviator Charles Lindbergh was a Mason.

Daniel Carter Beard, a Mason, founded the Boy Scouts of America. Melvin Jones, a Mason, founded the Lions International. All four founders of the Future Farmers of America were Masons. Dave Thomas, a Mason, founded Wendy’s. Harland Sanders, a Mason, started Kentucky Fried Chicken. Dr. Charles Mayo, a Mason, co-founded the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. Dr. Alexander Fleming, a Mason, was a developer of penicillin. Dr. Edward Jenner, a Mason, developed the small pox vaccine. Roy Rogers and John Wayne, America’s favorite cowboy actors, were Masons. Gene Autry, also, is a Mason. General Lewis Wallace, who wrote Ben Hur, and William Wyler, who directed the movie Ben Hur, were both Masons.

Maytag appliances are named after Frederick Maytag, a Mason. James C. Penney, founder of the department store chain, was a Mason. David Sarnoff, a Mason, was president of RCA and urged the formation of NBC. He also led in the development of color television. A brand of vacuum cleaners is named after Frank Hoover, a Mason. Henry Ford, Walter Chrysler and Ramson Olds, all Masons, have cars named after them. The Gillette safety razor was named after King Gillette, a Mason.

Sebastian S. Kresge, a Mason, founded S. S. Kresge (now K-Mart Corporation). He set up the Kresge Foundation with grants now totaling about $640 million. Houston, Texas, where the 1993 Southern Baptist Convention met, is named after a Mason, Sam Houston.

I doubt there are very many places we could visit, food we could eat, medicine we could take, places we could shop, or things we could do in which Masons have not been a significant part. Even basketball, one of our most popular national pastimes, was invented by a Mason, James Naismith.