Douglas MacArthur

Masonic Biographies

Douglas MacArthur

Born: Monday, 26 January 1880
Died: Monday, 04 May 1964

Douglas MacArthur was a scholar, military leader, and Freemason whose legacy provides an enduring example of commitment to duty and service.

War is widely and rightly regarded as hell. Almost always unnecessary, brutal and degrading to all of humanity, war is also the ultimate proving ground of human character. It is only in the face of death and destruction that an individual’s philosophical convictions can be truly tested. Only with such extreme consequences and high stakes at risk can the will really triumph. Freemasonry prepares its initiates for conflict. Though most Masons will never see a battlefield, Freemasonry itself presents its members with the tools necessary to fight the battles that inevitably arise in every human life.

One such Masonic warrior, both philosophically and in his worldly life, was General Douglas MacArthur. Dubbed “The American Shogun” by his enemies, Douglas MacArthur was born in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1880 and raised in West Texas. Valedictorian of the West Texas Military Academy and member of a well-established military family MacArthur was destined for the battlefield from an early age. MacArthur served in the United States Army for several decades before retiring. 

While stationed in the Phillipines, MacArthur was made a Mason “at sight” by the Grand Master of the Phillipines, an incredibly high honor reserved for exceptional cases. He was raised to the Sublime Degree of Master Mason on January 14th of 1936 and had received the 32nd degree of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite by March 28th of that same year. Despite his numerous duties MacArthur managed to maintain an active Masonic career. 

MacArthur’s military career, however, did not end with his retirement as he was recalled to service when the United States was threatened by Japanese forces in the latter half of the Second World War. MacArthur was tasked with retaking the Phillipine Islands, a nation he had come to love over his many years of service there, and confronting the Japanese forces in the Pacific theater. He was eventually successful and was an essential part of the Allied victory. After the war he remained in Japan and oversaw the rebuilding of its economic and political institutions, restoring order to a land ravaged by the chaos of war. MacArthur’s memory has withstood the test of time as an enduring example of commitment to duty and service that continues to inspire Freemasons.

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