Notable Scouting Alumni E-I

List of Notable Scouting Alumni E-I

Listed Alphabetically by Last NameListed Alphabetically by Last Name

E | F | G | H | I


Eldred, Arthur Rose

In August 1912, Arthur Eldred went before the most intimidating Eagle Scout board of review in history, a board that included Chief Scout Executive James E. West, American Scouting founders Ernest Thompson Seton and Daniel Carter Beard, and Wilbert E. Longfellow, who had written material on first aid and lifesaving for the BSA’s first Scout handbook. Intimidation notwithstanding, Eldred passed his board of review and soon became the first Eagle Scout in history.

And that was just one of the highlights of his 16th year. In January, he and his troop, Troop 1 from Rockville Centre, New York, had greeted Scouting founder Robert Baden-Powell’s ship when it arrived in New York. That summer, he had rescued two fellow Scouts from drowning, earning himself one of the BSA’s first Honor Medals.

Eldred went on to serve in the U.S. Navy during World War I. After the war, he worked as an agricultural agent and later as a transportation manager. He served as troop committee chairman for the troop where his son Bill became an Eagle Scout and was active on two school boards and the Camden County Council.

Although Eldred died in 1951, his legacy lives on. Four generations of his family have become Eagle Scouts.  


Engen, Alan

A native of Salt Lake City, Alan entered Scouting at age 11 and shortly after was selected to be on the cover of both Boys' Life Magazine (January 1952 issue) and Skiing merit badge booklet. He received Scouting's highest rank, that of Eagle, at age thirteen.

Alan Engen was named one of the “Legends of Utah skiing” in 1988. He was also inducted into the Utah Sports Hall of Fame in 1991; the U.S. National Ski Hall of Fame in 2004; and the University of Utah Crimson Club Athletes Hall of Fame in 2006. In 2007, Alan was given Utah “Best of State” honors as a professional athlete in sports and recreation and in 2009 he was inducted into the Intermountain Ski Hall of Fame. His competitive ski career is extensive at the national and international level. He competed in all skiing disciplines (Alpine and Nordic), winning numerous championships in Junior, Senior, and Masters competition. He was an All-American skier in college for the University of Utah and was a member of the United States CISM Ski Team during the middle 1960s. He was also a six time winner of the United States Ski Association-Intermountain Masters series title in the 1980s.

Alan is a recognized Utah ski historian and the author of the award winning book, For the Love of Skiing – A Visual History (1998) and co-author of the book FIRST TRACKS – A Century of Skiing in Utah (2001). He is Chairman Emeritus of the Alf Engen Ski Museum Foundation; Chairman Emeritus of the Alta Historical Society; a former member of the board of directors for the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame and Museum; and a charter advisory member of the University of Utah J. Willard Marriott Library, Utah Ski Archives.


Ferlinghetti, Lawrence

Ferlinghetti received his Eagle in the 1930’s and is an American poet, painter, liberal activists, author and publisher. He was born in Yonkers New York in 1919.

Ferlinghetti’s childhood was far from ideal. His father died before Lawrence was born. His mother was committed to an insane asylum when he was a baby. So, he was raised by his Aunt.To add to the challenge of growing up without parents, Lawrence also lived in an orphanage for a short time while his aunt looked for work.

He overcame these adversities and stayed in Scouting.He received his Eagle in the 1930’s and went on to the University of North Carolina. After college, he joined the Navy, served during World War II and completed his master’s degree on the GI bill.

He moved to San Francisco in 1953 and taught French. But he was a painter, a poet, and a liberal activist. So he followed his passion and opened a book store in San Francisco called City Lights Bookstore. Ferlinghetti’s most famous book was “A Coney Island of the Mind”.But he published dozens more.And he also got into the publishing business to help other struggling poets and writers.

Ford, Gerald Rudolph Jr.

The first Eagle Scout to serve as president of the United States, Gerald R. Ford restored dignity to an office mired in scandal.

Born in 1913, Ford joined a Grand Rapids, Michigan, Boy Scout troop in 1924 and became an Eagle Scout three years later. But Scouting wasn’t the only arena in which Ford excelled. An accomplished athlete, he played football at the University of Michigan and considered a professional football career. Instead, he chose law school, graduating from Yale in 1941.

The start of World War II interrupted Ford’s brief legal career. He quickly joined the Navy, rising to the rank of lieutenant commander before leaving the service in 1946.

Two years later, Ford was elected to Congress, where he would represent Michigan’s Fifth Congressional District for the next 25 years. When Vice President Spiro Agnew resigned in disgrace in 1973, Richard Nixon appointed Ford to the post. Ten months later, Nixon himself resigned, making Ford president.

During his long life—he died at age 93—Ford remained connected to Scouting, even donning a Scout uniform for a 1978 BSA ad campaign. In 1997, the Western Michigan Shores Council was renamed the Gerald R. Ford Council in his honor.

Fossett, James Stephen

Steve Fossett rose to international fame in 2002, when, on his sixth try, he became the first person to circle the globe on a solo balloon flight. But that was just one of 115 records he set in both aviation and sailing.

Fossett also competed in an array of other adventure sports. He completed the Boston Marathon, the Ironman Triathlon, and the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. He swam the English Channel at age 41, and he scaled the highest peaks on six of the seven continents. A commodities broker, Fossett started his own trading firms, Marathon Securities and Lakota Trading, in the early 1980s. It was at those firms that he amassed the fortune that helped fund his many adventures.

As a Scout in Garden Grove, California, Fossett caught the adventure bug, climbing his first mountain at age 12. He became an Eagle Scout in 1957 at age 13 and later worked as a ranger at the Philmont Scout Ranch.

A longtime supporter of Scouting, Fossett became president of the National Eagle Scout Association in 2007. He was still serving as NESA president that September when he tragically died in a single-engine plane crash along the Nevada-California border.

Freeh, Louis

In 1963 Former FBI director Louis Freeh received his Eagle Scout at 13 years old. He was born in New Jersey. He was honored with the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award in 1995.

Freeh's resume includes FBI agent, Deputy US Attorney, Army reservist, and US District Court judge.

But his years as the FBI director from 1993-2001 were marked with plenty of high profile cases. He took over just after the Branch Dravidian compound fire in Waco, Texas and dealt with allegations of cover-ups. He handled an 81 day standoff with the Montana Freeman, which ended peacefully.

He was the head of the agency when the Unabomber, Ted Kaczynski, was apprehended in Montana in 1996.He also orchestrated the capture and prosecution of Timothy McVeigh the OKC bomber in 1995-1996.

Louis Freeh resigned in 2001 and became the principal lawyer for a major US bank, published a book, and founded his own law firm, The Freeh Group International.



Holcomb, Steven

At the Whistler Sliding Centre on Feb. 27, 2010, Steven Holcomb slid into the history books as the driver of USA 1, America’s first four-man bobsled team to win Olympic gold since 1948. The team’s performance— which included setting a course record on one run—capped a remarkable season that also saw it win America’s first world championship since 1959 and its first World Cup title since 1992. (In 2014, Holcomb won bronze medals in both two-man and four-man bobsled.)

What made the 2010 season even more remarkable is how Holcomb got there. For most of his career, Holcomb had suffered from keratoconus, a degenerative eye condition that makes the corneas bulge and seriously affects a person’s vision.

By the time he had surgery in 2008, he was relying more on instinct than vision to navigate bobsled runs. Sports Illustrated called him “America’s sledi knight,” recalling the scene from Star Wars where Luke Skywalker learns to use his lightsaber while wearing an opaque visor.

Holcomb credits Scouting with broadening his horizons. “Earning all the merit badges really opens your eyes to more than just one thing in life. There’s so much to learn, so much you have to do,” he says.