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William F. Cody
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Cowboy
    (February 26, 1846-January 10, 1917)
    Known by his nickname 'Buffalo Bill'
    Employed as a scout by the United States Army (1868-1872)
    Received the Medal of Honor (1872)
    Created and hosted the 'Buffalo Bill Wild West Show'
    His life is shrouded in fictionalized accounts.
    He went through a series of odd jobs, as a Fifty-Niner, a Pony Express rider, a wagon master, a stagecoach driver, a Civil War soldier and a hotel manager.
    He won his nickname from another guy by beating him in a buffalo killing contest 69 to 48 (no wonder they went extinct).
    Even though he made a fortune off of his 'Wild West Show' he lost most of it due to bad investments.
    His Medal of Honor was revoked 24 days after he died because he was a civilian when he received it.
    The end of his stage show involved him scalping a Cheyenne warrior in effigy and shouting, 'First scalp for Custer!'
    His nickname is used by the transsexual villain in 'Silence of the Lambs.'
    He died deeply in debt (1917).
    He started working when he was 11.
    He served with the Union during the Civil War.
    He set a record with the Pony Express, riding 322 miles in 21 hours and 30 minutes.
    His 'Wild West Show' was an immensely popular touring circus with over 1,200 western performers, including Annie Oakley and Sitting Bill.
    He met with every American president from Grant to Wilson.
    He performed in Europe, including one performance before Queen Victoria.
    He took the Grand Duke Alexis of Russia on a hunting trip.
    He was friends with Mark Twain and Frederic Remington.
    He supported civil rights for American Indians and women.
    He is the subject of an E.E. Cummings poem.
    He founded the city of Cody, Wyoming.
    His Medal of Honor was restored by the Army (1989).
    By the turn of the 20th century, he was the world's most famous American.

Credit: Captain Howdy


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