Ernest (Iron Mike) L. Massad

Class of
Ernest (Iron Mike) L. Massad

Ernest (Iron Mike) L. Massad

“Up to the time I played college football I was a pretty rough kid and I’d get into a fight at the drop of a hat. Matter of fact, I’d go out of my way to drop the hat. Then I found out about working with others – teamwork.”
E. L. Massad, 1956


Oklahoma native Ernest Louis “Mike” Massad graduated from the University of Oklahoma where he competed in football, baseball, and track. His military career began in 1935 when he took command of a Civilian Conservation Corps in Arizona. During World War II he commanded an Airborne Battalion in New Guinea, Leute, and Luzon. He was awarded the Silver Star Medal, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star with Oak Leaf Cluster, Purple Heart, Silver Arrow Head, and the Presidential Unit Citation. After occupation day in Japan, General Massad returned to Ardmore, Oklahoma, and from 1962 to 1968 commanded the 95th Infantry Training Division. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal and the Oklahoma Distinguished Medal. In 1963 he was named Lebanese Man of the Year and in 1967 received the Americanism Award. In 1968 President Lyndon B. Johnson nominated him Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense and in 1970 he received the National Patriotism Award from the China, Burma, and Indian Veterans. In 1984, Massad was appointed the chairman of the board for the Oklahoma State Fair.

Fun fact

“Iron Mike” Massad played football as a fullback at OU beginning in 1928 and was named a top-25 player of the Silver Anniversary Sports Illustrated All-American team.

Oklahoma connections

Massad was born in Brinkman, Oklahoma.










Relevant Exhibits

Oklahoma Hall of Fame: Service Members

Oklahoma Hall of Fame: Service Members

This exhibit that features great miliatary leaders from Oklahoma.