May 04, 2016

In his words: A celebration of Earl Woods

It’s been 10 years since the passing of Earl Woods. The son of a street cleaner and a maid, Woods was born into humble beginnings in Manhattan, Kansas, in 1932. Despite losing both his parents by his mid-teens, he attended Kansas State University on a baseball scholarship, knowing that education would ultimately tear down the many obstacles that stood in his way. A retired Army lieutenant colonel, Woods served with the Green Berets during the Vietnam War, and proved to all that he was a natural born leader. He not only mentored his son, Tiger, but he ultimately felt it was his purpose to guide others toward their own greatness. For Woods, the Tiger Woods Foundation would be the catalyst that would allow him and his son to reach thousands of kids in need of a support system. Through his words and images, we look back at the life, legacy and accomplishments of Earl Woods.

Tiger Woods practices his swing with his father Earl

“For the true sweetness of victory lies not in simply savoring your own accomplishments, but in passing the baton to give someone else the same opportunity.”

Military portrait of Earl Woods

“Challenge yourself. Dare to stand out from the crowd, to set an example for others, to lead, to shine. You have powers that you haven’t even discovered yet, deep inside you, waiting for you to release them. Let them out.”

Earl Woods sets up to shoot a jump shot on the basketball court

“You have the power to dream amazing dreams, and turn them into reality. You have the power to set goals that only you can achieve.”

Earl Woods dressed in his paratrooper attire

“Everything starts with a first step. And when you feel like you’ll never get to the next step, don’t give up; just take a smaller step.”

Wishing the boss @tigerwoods a very happy 40th birthday!

A photo posted by Tiger Woods Foundation (@twfoundation) on

“You are a miracle, and you can make miracles happen. Celebrate yourself, love yourself, for all the things that make you special and unique.”

Earl Woods talks at golf event

“We are so fortunate to live in an age of massive amounts of information, with unlimited access to all the world’s knowledge and creativity. Use it and grow.”

A young Tiger Woods hang out with his father Earl

“To me, ‘playing through’ is the ultimate manifestation of a positive attitude. It’s the belief that you can overcome, that you can keep going.”

Earl Woods and Nelson Mandela hanging out

“Talent only guarantees that you’re good at what you do. Hard work gives you a shot at greatness.”