A pioneering figure of modern dance, champion of the male dancer, and founder of Jacob’s Pillow, Ted Shawn (1891-1972) was born in Kansas City, Missouri. He took his first ballet lessons after a serious illness left his legs temporarily paralyzed and made his professional debut in 1913 as a ballroom dancer. The following year he joined Ruth St. Denis, became her partner, and married her. Together they founded the Denishawn school in Los Angeles and nurtured the company from which Martha Graham, Doris Humphrey, Charles Weidman, Jack Cole, and other celebrated dancers emerged. When Denishawn broke up (along with his marriage to St. Denis), Shawn formed an all-male troupe known as Ted Shawn’s Men Dancers, based at Jacob’s Pillow, and he presided over the Pillow’s development into an international festival and school until his death. His centennial was marked in 1991 by the creation of a new company known as Jacob’s Pillow’s Men Dancers.