About the Eagles

Mission Statement

The Fraternal Order of Eagles, an international non-profit organization, unites fraternally in the spirit of liberty, truth, justice and equality.  Our goal is to make human life more desirable by lessening its ills and by promoting peace, prosperity, gladness and hope.


On February 6th, 1898 the Fraternal Order of Eagles was founded by theater owners John Cort, John W. Considine, Harry (H.L.) Leavitt, Mose Goldsmith and Arthur Williams.

Sitting on a pile of lumber in Moran’s Shipyard in Seattle, Washington, the theater industry competitors met to discuss a musicians strike.  After deciding what to do on that issue, the decided to ‘bury the hatchet’ and form an organization dubbed The Order of Good Things and asked its members to “make human life more desirable by lessening its ills and promoting peace, prosperity, gladness and hope.”

The first meetings were held on the stages of various local theaters and after business was settled, a keg of beer was rolled out and all enjoyed a few hours of social activities.  A few weeks later, as their numbers grew, they chose the Bald Eagle as their official emblem and changed the name to The Fraternal Order of Eagles.  The membership formed a Grand Aerie in April 1898, secured by a charter, drew up a constitution and by-laws and elected its first president John Cort.  Within ten years the Eagles had 1,800 lodges scattered throughout the United States and Canada.  Boasting a membership roll that exceeded 350,000, members received free medical attention (as did the individual’s family), weekly payments in case of sickness, and a funeral benefit – all valuable services before the widespread availability of medical, disability and life insurance.

Most of the first Eagle members were connected with the theater – actors, stagehands, playwrights etc. – and as they went on tour they carried the story of the new order with them across the United States and Canada.  This is the reason the eagles grew so quickly and all across the country.

It was the Eagles who pushed for the founding of Mother’s Day, who provided the impetus for Social Security and who pushed to end job discrimination based on age.  The Eagles have provided support for medical centers across the country to build facilities and provide research on medical conditions.  We raise millions of dollars every year to combat heart disease, diabetes and cancer, help handicapped kids, uplift the aged and much much more.

The Fraternal Order of Eagles upholds and nourishes the values of home, family and community.  Eagles are hometown builders – we support our police, firefighters and others who protect and serve.  We help raise money for our communities…

We are the Eagles and we are People Helping People.