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Grand Wizard was the title given to the leader of the Reconstruction-era Ku Klux Klan which existed from 1866-1871.[1]

In 1915, the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan was created, initially as a fraternal organization. The highest-ranking leader of the latter Klan was the Imperial Wizard. (National officers were "Imperial" officers. State, or "Realm" officers were "Grand" officers. A "Grand Dragon", for example, was the highest ranking Klansman in a given state or more than one state depending on one's political abilities.)

Following World War II, dozens of people have assumed the "Wizard" title as leaders of the numerous, independent, Klan-oriented organizations that have existed since then.

Grand or Imperial Wizards[]

This list excludes those of post-war, independent factions.

  • Nathan Bedford Forrest, Grand Wizard, Reconstruction Klan, 1867-1869[2]
  • William J. Simmons, Imperial Wizard, Second Klan, 1915-1922[3]
  • Hiram Wesley Evans, Imperial Wizard, Second Klan, 1922-1939[4]
  • James A. Colescott, Imperial Wizard, Second Klan, 1939-1944[5]


  1. Quarles, Chester L. (1999). "Appendix I". The Ku Klux Klan and related American racialist and antisemitic organizations: a history and analysis. McFarland. ISBN 078640647X. 
  2. Wade, Wyn Craig (1998). The fiery cross: the Ku Klux Klan in America. Oxford University Press US. ISBN 0195123573. 
  3. Wade, p.144
  4. Wade, p.188
  5. Wade, p.272