Louis Armstrong

Masonic Biographies

Louis Armstrong

Born: Sunday, 04 August 1901
Died: Tuesday, 06 July 1971

Louis Armstrong was a talented musician, Jazz pioneer, and member of the Knights of Pythias - a quasi-masonic order that shares many of the ideals and principles of Freemasonry.

Louis Armstrong was one of the greats of 20th century music. One of the pioneers of Jazz, he was inducted into the National Rhythm & Blues hall of fame in 2017. Born in 1901 in New Orleans, Louis was always fascinated with music. He took up the trumpet, the cornet, and his powerful voice to become a musical sensation in the 1920’s.

It is unknown exactly when and where Louis became of Knight of Pythias, but his association with the fraternity shined throughout his life in his character and conduct. The Knights of Pythias are a quasi-masonic order, prizing masonic ideals and character. Like masons, the pursuit of beauty, of adorning god’s creation, is important. Louis excelled with that, making music that spoke to men’s souls.

Louis Armstrong mainly stuck to his music, but there were a few times he spoke out on politics as well. During the 1950’s when the North and South were battling over segregation, Louis took a stand against it, egging Eisenhower on to intervention, and refusing to represent the U.S. internationally while segregation was still enforced. Because he carefully and wisely picked his moment (a quality taught by fraternal societies) his impact was great, and because he was uniquely accepted by both black and white society at the time, his words struck home and greatly aided the push for desegregation.

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