The Photo Request has been fulfilled.

 
 Clayton “Peg Leg” Bates

Clayton “Peg Leg” Bates

Birth
Fountain Inn, Greenville County, South Carolina, USA
Death 8 Dec 1998 (aged 91)
Fountain Inn, Greenville County, South Carolina, USA
Burial Rochester, Ulster County, New York, USA
Memorial ID 21472 · View Source
Suggest Edits

Tap Dancer, Pioneer Black Entertainer, Hotel Owner. He was the son of sharecroppers who became a world-famous tap dancer. With the last being in the 1960's, he was best known for his twenty appearances on the "Ed Sullivan Show". His career included vaudeville and clubs, stage musicals, film and television; he delighted an audience of millions. He danced for the military injured in Army and Navy hospitals during World War II. He lost his left leg in a cottonseed gin accident at age twelve. He subsequently taught himself to tap dance with a wooden peg leg attached to the stump of his amputated leg. "Peg Leg" also owned and operated the Peg Leg Bates Country Club in Kerhonkson, New York from 1951 and 1987. This also made Bates the first black resort owner and operator in the World Famous Sullivan County Catskill Mountain Borscht Belt of Jewish Resorts, Hotels and Bungalow Colonies; his clients were black as this was in an era before integration. He was also very active in the local Ellenville Lions Club. During the last ten years of his life, he traveled regularly to schools, senior citizen centers and nursing homes showing a video about his life and talking about his life experiences; he helped found a local Senior Citizen's Center in the Ellenville-Kerhonkson area. After performing for a fundraiser for a statue of himself in his hometown of Fountain Inn, South Carolina, he collapsed on his way to church one day later, December 8, 1998, at age ninety-one and died. "Peg Leg" Bates was a talented rhythm dancer, a true Southern gentleman and a generous human being to all who knew him. In 1992, he was Master of Ceremonies at the National Tap Dance Day Celebration in Albany, New York, where he received a Distinguished Leadership in the Arts Award. In 1991, Bates was honored with the Flo-Bert Award by the New York Committee to Celebrate National Tap Dance Day. He was given the Order of the Palmetto, the State of South Carolina's highest honor. Before his death, he had been a widower for over ten years; the couple had one daughter.

Bio by: Linda Davis


Family Members

Spouse

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement

How famous was Clayton “Peg Leg” Bates?

Current rating:

56 votes

Sign-in to cast your vote.

  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 17 Apr 2001
  • Find A Grave Memorial 21472
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Clayton “Peg Leg” Bates (11 Oct 1907–8 Dec 1998), Find A Grave Memorial no. 21472, citing Palentown Cemetery, Rochester, Ulster County, New York, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .