William Frederick "Buffalo Bill" Cody (February 26, 1846 – January 10, 1917) was an American scout, bison hunter, and showman. He was born in the Iowa Territory (now the U.S. state of Iowa), in Le Claire but he grew up for several years in his father's hometown in Canada before his family moved to the Kansas Territory.
Buffalo Bill started working at the age of eleven after his father's death, and became a rider for the Pony Express at age 14. During the American Civil War, he served from 1863 to the end of the war in 1865. Later he served as a civilian scout to the US Army during the Indian Wars, receiving the Medal of Honor in 1872.
One of the most colorful figures of the American Old West, Buffalo Bill started performing in shows that displayed cowboy themes and episodes from the frontier and Indian Wars. He founded his Buffalo Bill's Wild West in 1883, taking his large company on tours throughout the United States and, beginning in 1887, in Great Britain and Europe.
By Dean Hanley
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