Clayton "Peg Leg" “Peg Leg” Bates (Clayton Bates)

Clayton “Peg Leg” Bates

Tap Dancer and Pioneer in Black Entertainment Field/Hotel Owner. Peg Leg Bates was a world famous tap dancer best known for his 20 appearances on the Ed Sullivan Show,the last being in the early 1960’s,delighting an audience of millions. Bates lost his left leg in a Cotton Gin accident at age 12. He subsequently taught himself to tap dance with a wooden peg leg attached where his missing left leg should have been. “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 in the World Famous Sullivan County Catskill Mountain Borscht Belt of Jewish Resorts,Hotels and Bungalow Colonies. He was also very active in the local Ellenville Lions Club,and 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 and also helped found a local Senior Citizen’s Center in the Ellenville/Kerhonkson area. Bates performed at a fundraiser in his honor on Saturday night in his hometown of Fountain Inn, South Carolina,and then collapsed on his way to church one day later,December 8,1998 at age 91. Peg Leg Bates was a fine dancer,a true gentleman and a fine human being to all who knew him. I had the privilege of speaking with him by phone about 24 months before he passed on. He was kind. At the time,Bates was giving presentations on his life to children in the New York State Public Schools. Submitted by Robert Brizel  Family links:  Spouse:  Alice E Bates (1909 – 1987)* *Calculated relationship


  • October, 11, 1907
  • USA


  • December, 12, 1998
  • USA


  • Palentown Cemetery
  • USA

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