known as Buffalo Bill
William Cody, 1916.
(born Feb. 26, 1846, Scott county, Iowa, U.S.—died Jan. 10, 1917, Denver, Colo.) U.S. buffalo hunter, army scout, and Indian fighter. He became a rider for the Pony Express
and later served in the American Civil War. In 1867–68 he hunted buffalo to feed construction crews for the Union Pacific Railroad; he became known as Buffalo Bill after slaughtering 4,280 head of buffalo in eight months. He was a scout for the U.S. 5th Cavalry (1868–72, 1876) as it subdued Indian resistance. His exploits, including the scalping of the Cheyenne warrior Yellow Hair in 1876, were chronicled by reporters and novelists, who made him a folk hero. He began acting in dramas about the West, and in 1883 he organized his first Wild West Show
, which included stars such as Annie Oakley
and Sitting Bull
. The show toured in the U.S. and abroad to wide acclaim.
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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.