Archives On The Air 11: Hopalong Cassidy

Jul 9, 2018

Portrait of William Boyd as Hopalong Cassidy, undated. William Boyd photo file, American Heritage Center.
Credit American Heritage Center

"The highest badge of honor a person can wear is honesty. Be truthful at all times.”

Many children in the 1930s, 40s, and 50s were familiar with these words - part of Hopalong Cassidy’s Creed for American Boys and Girls.

Hopalong Cassidy was originally created in 1904 in pulp magazines as a hard-drinking, rough-living wrangler.

But when actor William Boyd brought Hoppy to life in a 1934 film adaptation, the character became a clean-living cowboy hero who always let the bad guy start the fight.

In 1948 Boyd acquired all rights to the character and began a profitable business promoting Hoppy. Boyd donated some of his profits to children’s hospitals and homes.

Visit UW’s American Heritage Center to see Hopalong Cassidy’s scripts, comics, photographs, costumes, toys and other items.

A boy feeds a carrot cake to Hopalong Cassidy’s horse Topper, undated. William Boyd papers, American Heritage Center.
Credit American Heritage Center