Woods, Earl 1932-2006

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Woods, Earl 1932-2006
(Earl Dennison Woods)


See index for CA sketch: Born March 5, 1932, in Manhattan, KS; died of prostate cancer, May 3, 2006, in Cypress, CA. Military officer and author. Woods was a retired U.S. Army colonel and former Green Beret who was best remembered for coaching and promoting his son, golf champion Tiger Woods. Orphaned at an early age, he managed to earn a baseball scholarship and graduated from Kansas State University. While a student, he initially had aspirations of becoming a professional player in the Negro Leagues. Instead, he enlisted in the army in 1954 and made it his career for the next twenty years. In addition to several stateside postings, he served two tours in Vietnam and was a Green Beret. In one terrifying episode in Vietnam, he almost lost his life but was saved by a South Vietnamese officer named Tiger. After his first marriage ended in divorce, Woods married a woman he met in Thailand, and together they had a son, Eldrick. Woods soon nicknamed the child Tiger in honor of the man who had saved his life. After retiring from the army as a colonel, Woods worked for the McDonnell Douglas aircraft company and settled in Cypress, California. When still only ten months old, Tiger, Woods discovered, was proving to be a prodigy who could competently swing a golf club. Woods shamelessly promoted Tiger, putting his two-year-old son on television shows such as That's Incredible! and training him relentlessly using techniques he had learned in the army. As Tiger became old enough to play in and win tournaments, the elder Woods eased off his strict training and focused on promotions, hailing his son as "the Chosen One" and beaming with pride when Tiger became the first black man to win the Masters Tournament in 1997. By the time he was thirty, Tiger had won ten major tournaments and was well on his way toward beating all previous career records. Along with Pete McDaniel, Woods was the author of Training Tiger: A Father's Guide to Raising a Winner in Both Golf and Life (1997).



Woods, Earl, and Pete McDaniel, Training Tiger: A Father's Guide to Raising a Winner in Both Golf and Life, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 1997.


Chicago Tribune, May 4, 2006, section 4, p. 2. Los Angeles Times, May 4, 2006, p. B10.

New York Times, May 4, 2006, p. A29.

Times (London, England), May 6, 2006, p. 66.

Washington Post, May 4, 2006, p. B8.

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Woods, Earl 1932-2006

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