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William F. Cody, "Buffalo Bill", historic photos

William F. Cody, "Buffalo Bill", 1911, historic photo

An historic photo of from 1911 of William F. Cody, better known as "Buffalo Bill". Cody was born near Le Claire in Iowa Territory (now in the State of Iowa) on February 26, 1846. Cody's colorful "wild west" career began at the age of fourteen when he became a Pony Express Rider. He later served in the Civil War from 1863 to 1865. After the war, he served as a civilian scout for the U. S. Army during the Indian Wars. In 1872 he was awarded the Medal of Honor for heroic actions during his service as a scout. New rules in 1917 for the awarding of the Medal of Honor prohibited civilians from receiving the award and his medal was revoked. A review in 1989 again restored the Medal of Honor to Cody. He won the title of "Buffalo Bill" while employed as a buffalo (bison) hunter in contracts to supply meat to the U. S. Army and the work crew of the Kansas Pacific Railroad.

In 1883, Cody assembled an array of wild west figures, American Indians, cowboys, rough riders and others to began tours of the United States and Canada. This became know as Buffalo Bill's Wild West and Congress of Rough Riders of the World. Among the celebrities included were various Native American Indian Chiefs and warriors, Annie Oakley as a amazing rifle shot, and at times, Calamity Jane as a storyteller. Between 1887 and 1906, this traveling show made eight different tours of England and Europe. These events were wildly successful and were attended many heads of state including Queen Victoria.

Cody died on January 10, 1917 at Denver, Colorado of kidney failure. He was 70 years old. (see additional photos below)

Sitting Bull and William F. Cody "Buffalo Bill" in publicity photo taken in 1885,copyrighted in 1897

Sitting Bull and William F. Cody "Buffalo Bill" in a publicity photo taken in 1885,copyrighted in 1897.

A poster for the Buffalo Bill's Wild West and Congress of Rough Riders of the World.

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