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Imperial Wizard: 1957

February 1957. "U.S. Klans Imperial Wizard Eldon Edwards posed in his official robes at home." Photo by Jay B. Leviton for Look magazine. View full size.

February 1957. "U.S. Klans Imperial Wizard Eldon Edwards posed in his official robes at home." Photo by Jay B. Leviton for Look magazine. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today’s Top 5

The Mike Wallace Interview

Historical: The Mike Wallace Interview, Eldon Edwards, 5/5/57.
Eldon Edwards, Imperial Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, talks to Wallace about the South's attitude toward the KKK, the Klan's membership, segregation, the NAACP, communism, and J. Edgar Hoover.
WARNING: the first and last few minutes are an undisguised Philip Morris Ad.


First, the color is all wrong. Second the dress could be shorter. Third the French foreign legion hat should not be pointed. Also what's with the boob patches?

What's On?

The Philco Model 2134 television from 1951 had a 20" screen. A similar model with a 17" screen could be purchased with or without a tilt out record player that had a 3-speed turntable behind the speaker grille.

Fool Me Once

My great Grandfather was talked into joining these dopes and promptly quit less than a week later once he found out what they really were about. Glad to hear my ancestor had some sense to him.

Bad week for KKK

Not only are Shorpy comments running 21-1 against Eldon, but Jacksonville is going to change the name of Nathan Bedford Forrest High School, named for a founder of the KKK. Only took my home city 55 years to act!

True American Spirit?

Zedd said: "That is the true American spirit."
No sir.
The true American spirit includes (among other things) the following:
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal"

Dave, no intent to inflame the dicourse, but we can't allow certain statements to pass unchallenged. Will trust your judgement.

Kolor Koordinated

This must have been his "at home" outfit....note how well he koordinates with the decor!

True American Spirit my a**

This man has nothing to do with the "True American Spirit".
It's all about hate.


Sorry, Zedd, he is different from everyone else, in that he led an organization that tried to intimidate whole swaths of our population through fear and violence. For that he deserves our contempt.

For doing it in yellow satin robes with a pointy hat, he deserves our ridicule and mockery.

Japanese Figurines

Oddly enough, he has two figurines of lovely Japanese ladies on his tv next to the hideous lamp.

Heart Problems

Eldon Edwards, from Georgia, was a major figure behind the rebuilding of the Klan in the 1950s. He was interviewed by Mike Wallace a few months after this photo and died of a heart attack in 1960.


I'm fairly certain that there is a nice wad of tin foil tucked inside his clown hat.


It's rather tall for a gnome.

How Fitting

Exactly the type of attire befitting a psychopath.

There sure is a lot of bigotry in the comments here

The man in the picture is a man, no different than anyone else. Just because his beliefs are different from yours doesn't make him any better/worse than you. There are many people around the world that would have similar negative comments about the way everyone in America dresses today. Most people from the American 50's would call you lazy and cheap for the way people dress today.

That man is fighting for what HE believes in.

That is the true American spirit.

["Fighting"? - Dave]

Social Media

If only the fully deserved mockery that clods like this get today could have happened and been effective in stopping the pain and deaths they were able to accomplish in their time.

A perfect fit

The old saying is a perfect fit:

"Clothes make the man."

In this case, the man is a fool. I especially think the pointed little hat is just right.

Compound offense

Okay, being in the Klan is reprehensibly misguided and morally wrong, but that lamp shade is downright felonious!

Pretty dress!

Now don't get me wrong, I'm not prejudiced against men who wear dresses but I wonder if he realizes how...lovely that dress looks. Those threads are as strange as he is.

Racism Aside

I wonder if these goofballs ever looked in the mirror? Parody of a parody.

Pointy, shiny and rumpled

THIS is why so few people wear satin any more -- devil of a job keeping it nicely pressed. Wonder if the wrinkles fall out if you stand close enough to a fire.

He matches his tacky figurines

But I wish his views didn't match views today, but just two weeks ago, I gave up on my oldest and closest friend of some 40 years (since college), when I decided it was hopeless to yet again argue against racist views expressed by him for a third time in three years. Even when you know someone nearly as well as yourself, there may be no explanation (and no excuses) for bigotry.

All set for Trick-or-Treat

Mommy forgot to give him his candy bag!

Seems so long ago

I wish so badly to have had an ability to show this man a photo of our current president. He needed so badly to see just how doomed and dead his way of thinking was going to be and what a complete waste of time and energy he was expending.

Then tell him that the party he belonged to, his father and grandfather belonged to - elected President Obama.

Just to see the blood drain out of his face and shut him the hell up.

Laundry Error

It looks like he washed his white robe with a brand new orange towel. A huge laundry faux pas. I wonder if he soaks his crosses in copper sulfate to get a green flame?

What can one say?

Not only a racist but no clothes sense either.

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