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*Earl Woods was born on this date in 1932. He was a Black businessman, administrator, and teacher.
He was also the father of professional golfer Tiger Woods. From in Manhattan, Kan., he was the last of six children of Maude and Miles Woods. He attended Kansas State and played catcher on the baseball team, the first African American player in the Big Eight Conference.
Woods married Kultida Punsawad in Brooklyn in 1969, his second marriage. They met during his second tour of duty with a U.S. Army Special Forces unit during the Vietnam War. While stationed there, he met fellow lieutenant colonel Nguyen T. Phong and thought so much of his bravery he nicknamed him “Tiger.” He would later name his son after Phong to preserve his memory. Woods served two tours of duty as a Green Beret in Vietnam and taught in the Army until his retirement as a lieutenant colonel in 1974.
Following the service, he moved to Cypress in Orange County, Ca. and worked as a contracts administrator for McDonnell Douglas. An avid golfer, Earl Woods trained his son Tiger to play the game he loved. Early on, Earl predicted greatness for his son. Woods wrote two books, “Training a Tiger" and "Playing Through.” In the second book, he wrote about his philosophy: “My whole life is about being positive. It’s about dreaming and then taking steps to achieve those dreams. It is about overcoming obstacles and stereotypes such as bigotry and prejudice. Life is about giving and sharing and caring for others, standing up and being counted for what you believe in, being a spokesperson and a role model, and being an inspiration.”
Earl Dennison Woods died on May 3rd, 2006, at his home in Cypress, Ca. after a lengthy battle with cancer. The elder Woods, who served as president of the ETW Corporation and was co-founder of the Tiger Woods Foundation, was 74. Earl Woods is survived by Kultida and Tiger, sons Kevin and Earl Jr., daughter Royce from a previous marriage, and sister Mable Moore.