Here follows a selection of famous Masons who have been or are still members of our order. There does not exist a complete list, as every nation deems certain members to be famous who are not very well known in other countries. Therefore this can only be a very rudimentary selection.
John Aasen (1890-1938) American film actor of Norwegian descent. He was one of the tallest actors in film history (2,19 m). He was a member of Highland Park Lodge No. 382 in Los Angeles.
Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin (*20/01/1930) American Astronaut and after Neil Armstrong the second man to walk on the moon on 21st July 1969.
Salvador Allende (1908-1973) was President of Chile from 1970 until his death. He was killed during a raid of facist troop on the presitential palace in Santiago de Chile, however some theories suggest that he committed suicide.
Roald Amundsen (1872-1928) was a Norwegian Polar Explorer and the first men to reach the Southpole on 14 December 1911, four weeks before his rival Robert F. Scott, who was likewise a Mason. He went missing during a rescue mission for members of the Nobile Northpole expedition.
Arthur William Patrick Albert, Duke of Connaught (1850-1942) third son of Queen Victoria of England. Before the present Grand Master, HRH the Duke of Kent he was the longest serving Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of England (1901-1939)
John Jacob Astor (1763-1848) wa the first prominent member of the Astor family and hailed from Walldorf, a small village near Heidelberg in Germany. After the american revolution he emigrated to the USA and became the first multi-millionaire in America making a fortune with fur trade, real estate and opium.
Mustafa Kemal Atatürk (1881-1938) founder of modern Turkey was a member of Lodge "Mecedonia Resorta Veritas".
Johann Christian Bach (1735-1782), a German Composer and youngest son of the famous Johann Sebastian Bach. He is often referred to as the "English Bach" for the time he spent in London where he died on January 1st 1782.
Frederic Auguste Bartholdi (1834-1904) French sculptor and best remembered for the design of the "Statue of Liberty".
William "Count" Basie (1904-1984) American pianist, organist, bandleader and composer. Widely regarded as one of the most important jazz bandleaders of his time. He led his "Count Basie Orchestra" for almost 50 years.
Ludwig Bechstein (1801-1860) German writer, wellknow for his childrensbooks and fairy tales. He was initiated in the Lodge "Charlotte zu den drei Nelken" in Meiningen in 1842.
Lawrence Bell (1894-1956) Founder of the Bell Aircraft Corporation
Irving Berlin (1888-1989) American composer and lyricist of Russian descent. Widely known as one of the best songwriters of all times. He has written such evergreens like "Alexander's Ragtime band", "There is no business like show business" and the ever popular "White Christmas". He died at the high age of 101 years.
Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher (1742-1819) Prussian Fieldmarshal, whose troops together with the english troops under Wellington defeated Nopoleon I. at Waterloo.
Karlheinz Böhm (*1928), Austrian actor and son of the conductor Karl Böhm. Became famous in the 1950's for the personification of the young Austrian Emporer Franz in the three "Sissi" Films, where Romy Schneider played the role of his wife Sissi. In 1981 he founded the organisation "Menschen für Menschen" (Men for Men) which is involved in humanitarian projects in Ethiopia.
Simon Bolivar (1783-1830) the "liberator" of South America. The state of Bolivia is named after him.
Ernest Borgnine (*1917) an American actor. has mainly played in action films as well as TV Series. Became popular through the action series "Airwolf".
Holger Börner (1931-2006) German politician (SPD). Was from 1976-1987 Prime minister of the state of Hessen.
Alfred Brehm (1829-1884) German zoologist and author of one of the first comprehensive works on animal life, titled "Brehm's Tierleben", which was for decades considered the standard work on this topic. Brehm was in 1858 initiated in the Lodge "Apollo" in Leipzig.
Aristide Briand (1862-1932) French Minister of the Exterior and later Prime minister. In 1926 he was awarded the Peace Nobel Price together with his German counterpart and Brother Gustav Stresemann for working out the "Locarno treaty".
Robert Burns (1759-1796) was a Scottish writer and poet. Besides Walter Scott he is regarded as Scotland's greatest poet. Well known are the lyrics for the song "Auld lang syne". Burns was initiated in the St. David's Lodge No. 174 in Tarbolton on 4th July 1781. Besides his Motherlodge he was a member of a few other Lodges and became Deputy Master of the St. John's Lodge No. 178 in 1784.
Marc Chagall (1887-1985) a French artist of Russian descent, was he one of the outstanding expressionists of the 20th Century.
Adelbert von Chamisso (1781-1838), German scientist of French descent, poet and writer. He was a member of a Lodge in Chalons-sur-Marne, but also visited Lodges in Berlin quite frequently.
Walter P. Chrysler (1875-1940), American Car-tycoon, Founder of the Chrysler Corporation.
Winston Churchill (1874-1965), British Statesman and Writer. He was twice Prime Minister or Great Britain and led his country through the Second World War. He was initiated in the "United Studholme Lodge No. 1591" in London in 1901.
Andre Citroen (1878-1935) French Car-tycoon, Founder of the Citroen Car Factory. He was a member of the Lodge "La Philosophie Positive" in Paris.
Matthias Claudius (1740-1815) German Poet and Journalist. On 12th August 1774 he was initiated in the Lodge "Zu den drei Rosen" in Hamburg.
Samuel Langhorne Clemes (1835-1910), better known under his pseudonym "Mark Twain" was an American Adventurer, Writer and Journalist. In his youth he lived in the little town Hannibal in Missouri near to the Mississippi River. This scenery inspired him later to write the adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. He was made a Mason in 1861 in the Polar Star Lodge No. 179 in St. Louis. For personal reasons he terminated his membership in 1868.
William Cody (1846-1917) better known as "Buffalo Bill". He got his nickname during the time he worked as a Bison hunter for the Kansas Pacific Railway to supply meat to the Railway workers. From 1883 he toured the world with his "Buffalo Bill Wild West Show", which included some hundred people and animals, Horses and Buffalos. He even recruited the famous Indian chief "Sitting Bull" for his show. Not much is known about his masonic career, but according to a script on his tombstone he was a member of a Lodge in Colorado.
Samuel Colt (1814-1862), American Entepreneur, developed the first reliable Revolver, together wit Samuel Morse as watertight underwater cable and water mines for the American Marine.
Edward Kennedy "Duke" Ellington (1899-1974) American Jazz Composer, Pianist and Bandleader. He was initiated in the "Social Lodge No. 1" in Washington DC in 1932. The Lodge is working under the "Prince Hall" Grand Lodge, whose members are mostly Afro-Americans.
Edward VII (1841-1910), oldest Son of Queen Victoria and her husband Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, became King of England after the death of his mother in 1901. In 1868 he was initiated into Freemasonry bei King Karl XV. in Stockholm Sweden. He served as Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of England from 1874 to 1901. During this time he promoted Freemasonry openly, even when travelling abroad by laying foundation stones for Churches and public building in Masonic regalia. During his reign as Grand Master the number of Lodges in England rose from 1200 to about 3000.
Sir Alexander Fleming (1881-1955), English Scientist and Discoverer of the first Antibiotikum Penicillin. As Freemason he was an active member of the United Grand, Lodge of England, from 1942 as Senior Deacon and from 1948 as Senior Warden.
Gerald R. Ford (1913-2006) was the 38th President of the USA (1974-77) after Richard Nixon had resigned due to the Watergate scandal. On 3 Sept. 1949 he was initiated into Freemasonry in the Malta Lodge No. 465 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. In 1962 he was awarded the 33rd Degree of the Scottish Rite, the highest achievement a Mason can get.
Henry Ford (1863-1947) American business man and founder of the Ford Motor Corporation. He became a member of the Palestine Lodge NO. 357 Detroit, Michigan in 1894 and was also made a 33rd Degree Mason in 1940.
Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790), American Statesman, Scientist and Author. He was made a Mason in the St. John's Lodge in Philadelphia in 1731.
Frederick II (the Great) (1712-1786) King of Prussia from 1740-1786. He was initiated during a special meeting in Braunschweig during the night of 14-15 August 1738, when he was still Crown Prince.
Clark Gable (1907-1960) famous American Actor (Gone with the Wind). He was initiated in Beverly Hills Lodge in 1933.
King George VI of England (1895-1952) ruled Britain from 1936 until his death in 1952. He was the father of Queen Elizabeth II. Made a Mason in 1919, he became a Royal Arch Mason later on and elevated to the 33rd Degree. His Masonic titles are to much to mention, among many he was the Grand Master of Scotland.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832) German Poet, Writer, Scientist and Politician. Renowned as the most famous poet and writer of German origin of all times. He was initiated in the Lodge Amalia in Weimar in 1780. Makes many masonic references in his literatic works.
Oliver Hardy (1892-1957) American Actor. Became famous together with his partner Stan Laurel in silent film comedies. He was a member of the Solomon Lodge No. 20 in Jacksonville, Florida.
Franz Joseph Haydn (1732-1813) Austrian Composer who was regarded as the first great Master of the Symphony and Quartett. He was initiated in the Lodge Zur wahren Eintracht in Vienna on 4th February 1785. His proposer and friend W.A. Mozart was present at this meeting.
John Edgar Hoover (1895-1972) Director of the FBI since 1924. He became a Mason in Federal Lodge No. 1 Washington DC in 1920 and also was a 33rd degree Mason.
Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936) English Journalist and Author who was born in India. He wrote many novels and books about India, most wellknown is his "Jungle Book". He was initiated in the Hope and Perseverance Lodge in Lahore, India in 1886. Many of his later works bear references to Masonry (The man who would be King).
Cornelis Jacobus Langenhoven (1973-1932) South African Author and writer of "Die Stem", the National Anthem of South Africa until 1994, when Apartheid was abolished in South Africa. A part of it is included in the new Anthem. (I am still investigating the exact dates and places of his masonic career. W.Fuchs Webmaster)
Charles A. Lindbergh (1902-1974) American Aviator, became famous for his first non-stop transatlantic flight from New York to Paris, which he managed in 33 1/2 hours. He was a member of Keystone Lodge, where he was initiated in 1926.
Franz Liszt (1811-1886) Hungarian Pianist and Composer, father-in-law to another famous composer, Richard Wagner. He was initiated in the Lodge Zur Einigkeit in Frankfurt/Main in 1841.
Albert Lortzing (1801-1851), German Composer who together with C.M. von Weber revolutionized the German Opera. One of his masterpieces is "Zar und Zimmermann". He was initiated in Lodge Zur Beständigkeit und Eintracht in Aachen in 1826.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) Austrian Composer, wrote in his short lifetime over 600 works, including more than 20 Operas and 41 Symphonies. The most played opera in world history, "The Magic Flute" stems from his pen and depicts an Initiation Ceremony in a somewhat allegoric way. He was initiated in the Lodge Zur Wohltätigkeit on 14th December 1784. Early in the next year his father Leopold and his friend Joseph Haydn were also made Masons.
Prince Philip Mountbatten (*1921) husband of Queen Elizabeth II of England and cousin to the present Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of England, the Duke of Kent. He is a member of the Navy Lodge No. 2612 in London, a Lodge whose membership is restricted to Officers of the Royal Navy. There is no record, that he is masonically very active.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1882-1945) President of the USA from 1933-1945. He was the only President to serve more than two terms. He became a member of Holland Lodge No. 8, New York in 1911. Besides becoming an honorary member of numerous Lodges he also achieved the 32nd Dgree of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite.
Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919) 26th President of the USA. He was a member of Matinecock Lodge of Oyster Bay, N.Y. where he was initiated in 1901.
Emanuel Schickaneder (1751-1812) librettist of Mozart's Opera "The Magic Flute". It was mainly his idea to veil this Initiation Opera in Masonic allegory. Although both, he and Mozart were Masons it is not recorded that they ever visited a Lodge together. Schickaneder was only initiated in 1791 in the Regensburg Lodge Zu den drei Schlüsseln. During this year Mozart wrote the opera and it was first staged in Schickaneder's theatre "Auf der Wieden", with Schikaneder singing the role of Papageno.
Jean Sibelius (1865-1957) Finland's most famous and greatest masonic composer since Mozart. After the independence of Finland from Russia certain finnish Masons, who were initiated in New York, petitioned the Grand Lodge of New York for a Lodge in Helsinki. It was granted, and in 1922 Grand Master Arthur S. Tompkins visited Finland, where on August 18th, in the old Parliament House, the three degrees were conferred on 27 leading citizens of Finland, including Sibelius. The tune of one of his masonic works is today known as the finnish National Anthem, the "Finlandia".
Harry S. Truman (1884-1972) became President of the USA after the death of Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1945. He was initiated in the Belton Lodge, Missouri in 1911 and reached his 33rd degree in 1959 and in 1961 he received the 50 year award, the only American President to be honoured in that way.
George Washington (1732-1799) first President of the USA. He was innitiated in a Lodge in Fredericksburg in 1752. At his inauguration as President the Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of New York administered his oath.
John Wayne (1907-1979) American film actor, appearing mostly in Western movies. He personified the American hero type in films like "The Alamo" and "The green Berets". He was initiated in the MacDaniel Lodge in Tucson Arizona in 1970 and was later awarded an honorary 33rd degree.