The amazing life of William Frederick Cody, better known as Buffalo Bill, was recounted by John Taylor, of Mansfield, in a talk to Hucknall Men’s Probus Club.
Born in 1845, Bill became a plainsman, officer, showman and superstar.
When he died at the age of 72, he was the most famous man in the western world.
John told how Bill killed his first native American, became a Pony Express rider, served as an Army scout, was elected a senator and met Colonel George Custer, who died at the Battle of Little Big Horn.
After his first stage appearance in New York, he made hugely successful tours with his Wild West spectacular show, first throughout America and then in England and across the rest of Europe.
Queen Victoria attended one of his shows and commented: “We saw an extraordinary and interesting sight.”
In June 1904 the show was staged at 26 places in the UK, including Mansfield.
John said Bill was hardly an American role model. He was a womaniser, often a hard drinker, a heavy gambler and a bankrupt businessman.
But he had ‘that magic something’ which transcended all his faults and means that he still inspires huge affection generations later.
The speaker was introduced by Colin Tinker and thanked by president Tony Bucknall for his informative and entertaining talk.