NEW YORK -- Kenneth I. Chenault, chairman and chief
executive of American Express, is the latest Augusta National Golf
Club member to support the inclusion of female members.
Chenault released a statement supporting the campaign by the
National Council of Women's Organizations.
"I believe women should be admitted as members of the Augusta
National Golf Club,'' Chenault said in the statement, first
reported in Wednesday's New York Times and later confirmed by
American Express. "I have made my views known within the club
because I believe that is the most effective and appropriate way to
bring about a change in membership policy.''
On Monday, Lloyd Ward, the head of the U.S. Olympic Committee,
said he will work aggressively with other club members to admit
Ward, one of a handful of black members at Augusta National,
said he was "committed to breaking down barriers which exclude
women from membership at Augusta in the weeks and months ahead.''
Amid signs that some Augusta National members were backing away
from the club's hard-line stand on the issue, the former president
of Ford Motor Co. also said he thought there would be female
members at the exclusive club that hosts the Masters golf
"I think there will be at some time in the future,'' Harold
"Red'' Poling said.
Ward made his comments in a letter to Martha Burk, chairwoman of
the National Council of Women's Organizations, which is
spearheading the drive to include women among Augusta National's
Burk told the newspaper that this latest support "would
indicate that the problems at Augusta will be solved sooner than