century association biographical archive

Earliest Members of the Century Association

View all members

Edwin Booth


Centurion, 1861–1893

Full Name Edwin Thomas Booth

Born 13 November 1833 in Bel Air, Maryland

Died 7 June 1893 in New York (Manhattan), New York

Buried Mount Auburn Cemetery, Cambridge, Massachusetts

Proposed by Adam Badeau

Elected 4 May 1861 at age twenty-seven

Proposer of:

Century Memorial

The foremost actor of his time, and one who would rank as the peer of those of any time or country, Edwin Booth, was an honored member here, who added distinction, and the dignity accompanying a great talent, to the reputation of the Association which has included so many distinguished men in its ranks. A child of genius, inheriting those qualities that brought him fame and fortune, developed by adverse circumstances, spurred on to great endeavor by the ambition of a noble mind, he stood for forty-two years before the world unequalled in his calling, entertaining, instructing and elevating those who came under the spell of his magnetic and mysterious power. The sadness of his nature, so characteristic of men of genius, was allied with a sweetness that gave him an irresistible charm. The generosity of a large and noble heart, an entire absence of thought of self, patience under severe afflictions, simplicity and dignity of life, devotion to the highest ideals in his art, and successful achievement as the worthy exponent of them, not only established his reputation as an equal and worthy associate of those who have given the stage its glorious traditions, so that “his best epitaph is his name alone,” but also surrounded him with the love and honor of a group of friends than whom no man of any time or station ever had any more devoted or sincere. Like his great master, he is enshrined in the hearts of his admirers.

“And so sepulchred in such pomp doth lie,

That kings for such a tomb would wish to die.”

Henry E. Howland
1894 Century Association Yearbook