Honor Dewey Brown, The First Black Member of The PGA, With a USPS Heritage Stamp
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Dewey Brown was the first known African-American member of the Professional Golfers' Association of America (PGA). Brown became a member in 1928 after having worked as a caddie in New Jersey. He was also a renowned golf club maker and golf teacher during the 1920s and 1930s, and crafted golf clubs for a number of the nations leading professionals, and statesmen. Some of the notable people he made clubs for were: President Warren G. Harding, Vice President Charles Davis, and Charles "Chick" Evans. From 1947, until he passed, Brown owned and operated the Cedar River House and Golf Club at Indian Lake, New York.
However, in 1934, the PGA terminated Brown's membership when they allegedly discovered that he was African American. At the time, the PGA had a Caucasian-only clause in its bylaws. It wasn't until the 1960's, 30 years after being dropped without explanation, Brown was "re-elected to a class 'A' membership" in the PGA. (Forbidden Fairways, 1998)
"Dewey was a black man who had learned the game as a caddie in New Jersey. He was to golfing what Jackie Robinson was to major league baseball: a black pioneer in a white world, a superb athlete, a sportsman and a gentleman. He was one of the first black members of the PGA, if not the first. He has been described by sportswriters as the 'Knight of the Fairways' because he was one of God's great gentlemen and sincerity was his trademark." -Peter Martin Adirondack Golf Courses... Past and Present
Dewey Brown is an important historical figure in American history, as well as a trailblazer for Golfers around the world. Dewey Brown's contributions to American society, history, and culture deserve to be honored as an United States Black Heritage Stamp.
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