Archie Bunker: Freemason Or Not?

by Midnight Freemasons contributor
Todd E. Creason

Archie Bunker

"Everyone I like stays the hell away from me."

~Archie Bunker
All in the Family

There's few Americans that don't know this guy--Archie Bunker.  One of the most memorable, and lovable, bigots in television history, and portrayed by the great Carrol O'Connor.  For twelve years, Archie Bunker entertained Americans with his unique view of life, and sarcastic wit on All In The Family, and later, Archie's Place

It has long be rumored that Carrol O'Connor was a Freemason, because Archie Bunker wore a Mason ring on his middle finger on All In The Family.  The problem is, that's not a Mason ring.  That's a wedding ring!  Wearing a wedding ring on the middle finger is an Irish tradition--and there is no question that Carrol O'Connor was Irish.  That's an Irish tradition that Carrol O'Connor carried over into the character of Archie Bunker. 

Carrol O'Connor as Sheriff Bill Gillespie
His other popular role on television was Bill Gillespie, the Southern sheriff on the show In the Heat of the Night.  Same rumor, Carrol O'Connor is a Freemason, because he wears a Mason ring on that show.  And that is a little closer to the accurate.  In that show, Carol O'Connor did wear a Masonic ring--a traditional square and compass lodge ring with a red stone.  There are a few very clear photos of him wearing that ring as he portrayed Sheriff Gillespie.  But he was asked about that ring one time, and he said simply he wore the ring as a prop, because he believed many Southern sheriffs were Freemasons.

So was Carrol O'Connor a Freemason?  His character Sheriff Bill Gillespie was, but the actor was not. 


Todd E. Creason, 33° was the original Midnight Freemason. He's the author of several books and novels, including his popular Famous American Freemasons series.  In 2012, Todd expanded his popular blog The Midnight Freemason into a collaborative effort Midnight Freemasons. Todd is the Past Master of Ogden Lodge No. 754 (IL), and a member of both the Scottish Rite, and York Rite. He's also a member of the Ansar Shrine (IL) and Charter President of the Illini High Twelve No. 768 in Champaign-Urbana (IL).  He is also the author of the blog From Labor To Refreshment . . .


  1. Archie Bunker is clearly the member of a Lodge, although it is not clear whether it is a Masonic Lodge, the Elks, or the Eagles. In one episode, he goes to a "Lodge Convention", and in another, he confronts the (then) "controversy" of African-Americans joining his Lodge. Archie clearly belongs to a fraternal organization, and his apparent secrecy regarding its workings seem to indicate it's the Granddaddy of them all.

  2. Episode were he dont want to pay for the burial of a family member he says to the funeral guy or under taker which is what Edith calls him "iv known you from the lodge for 13 years"


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