Tiger Woods, whose real name is Eldrick Tont Woods, was born in Cypress, California and grew up in Anaheim, California.
Woods was raised a Buddhist by his Thai mother and apparently it was a powerful force in his childhood. During his rise to fame, Woods spoke about his faith openly, saying:
I like Buddhism because it’s a whole way of being and living. It’s based on discipline and respect and personal responsibility.
But Tiger admits to losing his way and not following the “core values” he was taught as a child, particularly following the very public infidelity he got raked over the coals for. He said:
I was raised a Buddhist, and I actively practiced my faith from childhood until I drifted away from it in recent years. Buddhism teaches that a creation of things outside ourselves causes an unhappy and pointless search for security. It teaches me to stop following every impulse and to learn restraint. Obviously, I lost track of what I was taught.
Since then, Woods seems to have returned to his faith in force, wearing religious tokens at golf matches and meditating regularly.
Tiger is notoriously non-political. In fact, his silence on politics has become somewhat of an annoyance to some journalists and fans who would like to hear his views.
Woods’ parents saw his fame, his multi-racial heritage, and his influence as a possible segue to political and/or cultural progress. His father, Earl, once said:
Tiger will do more than any other man in history to change the course of humanity. … He is the Chosen One. He’ll have the power to impact nations. Not people. Nations.
However, it is speculated that Tiger didn’t want to alienate any fans or–more importantly–sponsors with any possibly controversial views, so he took the vow of silence.
That is until Obama. Now Tiger didn’t explicitly endorse Obama, but he did speak at the president’s inauguration ceremony, saying that Obama’s victory was “absolutely incredible” and that the president “represents America.” For the time being, that’s all we’re getting out of Tiger.