Earl Woods


Editor’s Note: This is the final installment of the 8 Wonders of Manhattan running in the Collegian over the summer. Earl Woods, father of pro golfer Tiger Woods, was born March 5, 1932, in Manhattan. He attended K-State, then known as Kansas State College, graduating with a degree in sociology in 1953. During his time at K-State, Earl was a catcher for the varsity baseball team, and was offered a contract by the Kansas City Monarchs of the Negro Leagues. After declining the Monarchs contract, Earl joined the Army and served two combat tours during the Vietnam War, working his way up to the Special Forces. Earl was promoted to lieutenant colonel after graduating from Defense Information School and became an ROTC instructor at the City College of New York, retiring from active duty in 1974. Earl had a total of five children between his two marriages, Eldrick or ‘Tiger’ being the youngest and only child with his second wife. Tiger was coached by his father who didn’t even learn the game until the age of 42. Golf became a way of life for the father-son duo; Earl wrote two coaching books about his experiences with his son. In 1998, Earl was diagnosed with prostate cancer, but overcame the odds. At the age of 74, he had a heart attack at his home in Cypress, Calif., where he died in 2006. Earl was buried in Manhattan’s Sunset Cemetery in an unmarked grave.