The incoming crop of Masons may be a little more fashion-forward than their predecessors, but the brotherhood of the past has also made a few contributions to the world of style. Among the more stylish Masons are:
Andrew Jackson (1767-1845)
How do we remember the seventh U.S. president? As the fellow on the $20 bill with the bouncin' and behavin' head of choreographed hair. As an early Masonic trendsetter, Old Hickory is so . . . money.
David 'Davy' Crockett
Did the U.S. Representative from Tennessee ever actually sport a coonskin cap? It doesn't really matter because the Disney version (played by Fess Parker) did, touching off a 1950s fad that made the Masonic king of the wild frontier a fashion icon to legions of preteen boys.
For The Record
Los Angeles Times Sunday, May 25, 2008 Home Edition Image Part P Page 2 Features Desk 1 inches; 54 words Type of Material: Correction
Photo credits: A May 18 article about Freemasons was accompanied by several photographs with incorrect credits. The photograph of President Ford, credited to the Los Angeles Times, was taken by Eric Draper of the Associated Press. The photo of Clark Gable should have been credited to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Without Gillette's disposable safety razor, how many of us would look like the hirsute dudes from ZZ Top? Thanks to this Freemason, the world will never know.
Duke of Windsor (1894-1972)
What kind of classy guy gives up his seat for a lady? King Edward VIII, who abdicated the throne for American divorcee Wallis Simpson. On top of that, the duke was a legendary fashion plate with a penchant for pattern-on-pattern dressing and is immortalized by the large necktie knot (a.k.a. the Windsor knot) named in his honor.
The mustachioed Mason set the bar for cinema savoir-faire in the films "It Happened One Night" and "Gone With the Wind," where his Rhett Butler swagger set the bar for generations of men. Frankly, we do give a damn.
Louis Armstrong (1901-1971)
A Prince Hall Mason (the affiliation designated for African Americans), the jazz trumpeter and singer known as Satchmo had an unmistakable music style, and ranks among the classiest entertainers of all time -- and he pulled off a black bow tie like nobody else.
Gerald Ford (1913-2006)
The 38th U.S. president and most recent Freemason to occupy the Oval Office paved the way for political pretty boys everywhere when, during his younger days as a male model, he appeared in the pages of Cosmopolitan magazine.
-- Adam Tschorn