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Encyclopedia > Pretty Boy Floyd
Charles Arthur "Pretty Boy" Floyd. Photo from the FBI files.

Charles Arthur "Pretty Boy" Floyd (February 3, 1904October 22, 1934) was an American bank robber and alleged killer, romanticized by the press and by folk singer Woody Guthrie in his song "Pretty Boy Floyd". Image File history File links Charles Arthur Pretty Boy Floyd, from the FBI files. ... Image File history File links Charles Arthur Pretty Boy Floyd, from the FBI files. ... F.B.I. and FBI redirect here. ... Pretty Boy Floyd was an American bank robber. ... is the 34th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1904 (MCMIV) was a leap year starting on a Friday (see link for calendar). ... is the 295th day of the year (296th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1934 (MCMXXXIV) was a common year starting on Monday (link will display full 1934 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Bank robbery is the crime of robbing a bank. ... Woodrow Wilson Guthrie (July 14, 1912–October 3, 1967) was a prolific American songwriter and folk musician. ...

Contents

Early life

Floyd was born in Adairsville, Georgia, on February 3, 1904, where his family lived until he was about ten years old. They then moved to the Cookson Hills of Oklahoma. At the age of seventeen, Floyd married Lee Hargrove (also known as Robie or Bobbie). The popular history says that Floyd committed his first crime when he struck down a sheriff's deputy who had been rude, but contemporary sources agree that Floyd simply needed a way to make ends meet.[1] Adairsville is a city in Bartow County, Georgia, United States. ... is the 34th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1904 (MCMIV) was a leap year starting on a Friday (see link for calendar). ... Looking eastward from Bolin Hollow in the Cookson Hills Game Refuge at a gap between Bunch Mountain on the left and Beaver Mountain on the right. ... Official language(s) None Capital Oklahoma City Largest city Oklahoma City Area  Ranked 20th  - Total 69,898 sq mi (181,196 km²)  - Width 230 miles (370 km)  - Length 298 miles (480 km)  - % water 1. ... Look up Sheriff in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...


Life of crime

The Time magazine of 22 October 1934, mentions a robbery of $350 in pennies from a local post office as his first known crime. He was eighteen years old at the time. Three years later, he was busted for a payroll robbery in St. Louis, Missouri and served three years in prison.[1] (Clockwise from upper left) Time magazine covers from May 7, 1945; July 25, 1969; December 31, 1999; September 14, 2001; and April 21, 2003. ... is the 295th day of the year (296th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1934 (MCMXXXIV) was a common year starting on Monday (link will display full 1934 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Small-town post office and town hall in Lockhart, Alabama A post office is a facility (in most countries, a government one) where the public can purchase postage stamps for mailing correspondence or merchandise, and also drop off or pick up packages or other special-delivery items. ... Nickname: Location in the state of Missouri Coordinates: , Country State County Independent City Government  - Mayor Francis G. Slay (D) Area  - City  66. ...


When paroled, he vowed that he would never see the inside of another prison. He did not, however, go straight. Partnering with more established criminals in the Kansas City underworld, he committed a series of bank robberies over the next several years; it was during this period that he earned the nickname "Pretty Boy." Like his contemporary Baby Face Nelson, Floyd hated his nickname.[1] Nickname: Location in Jackson, Clay, Platte, and Cass Counties in the state of Missouri. ... Lester Joseph Gillis (December 6, 1908 – November 27, 1934), aka George Nelson but better known as Baby Face Nelson, due to his youthful appearance, was a diminutive (5 4 tall) bank robber in the 1930s. ...


Arrest

Their string of crimes hit a hiccup in Sylvania, Ohio, where they were caught in the midst of a bank robbery and Floyd was sentenced to fifteen years. However, he escaped on his way to prison and rebuilt his gang. In the years that followed, he was blamed for a long string of bank robberies and vilified as a "Public Enemy" by the FBI. Sylvania is a city in Lucas County, Ohio, United States. ... It has been suggested that Safecatch be merged into this article or section. ... Public Enemy is a term which was first widely used in the United States in the 1930s to describe individuals whose activities were seen as criminal and extremely damaging to society. ... The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is a federal criminal investigative, intelligence agency, and the primary investigative arm of the United States Department of Justice (DOJ). ...


The popular legend holds that he was not, in fact, responsible for all of these, and that his name was being attached to robberies committed by others. In the words of Woody Guthrie, "Every crime in Oklahoma was added to his name." Woodrow Wilson Guthrie (July 14, 1912–October 3, 1967) was a prolific American songwriter and folk musician. ...


Floyd would hide out between crimes in towns near the one in which he had grown up, protected by the locals. The popular legend says that they did this out of love for his generosity and their hatred of the banks, which were at that time foreclosing on many farms. However, the contemporary press claimed that he simply bribed them for their silence.


With his partner George Birdwell, Floyd robbed the banks in Earlsboro, Konawa, Maud, Morris, Shamrock, Tahlequah, and on December 12, 1931, two banks in one day at Castle and Paden, Oklahoma. Bank insurance rates doubled, and the governor of Oklahoma placed a $56,000 reward on Floyd.[1] Morris may refer to: // In North America: Morris, Alabama Morris, Connecticut Morris, Illinois Morris, Manitoba Morris, Minnesota Morris County, New Jersey Morris Plains, New Jersey Morris (town), New York Morris (village), New York Mount Morris, New York Morris, Oklahoma Morris Township, Pennsylvania Morris, Wisconsin See also: Morriston Morristown Morrisville For... is the 346th day of the year (347th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1931 (MCMXXXI) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display full 1931 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Insurance, in law and economics, is a form of risk management primarily used to hedge against the risk of a contingent loss. ...

Vernon Miller. Photo from FBI Files.

The man was also accused of participating in the Kansas City Massacre, a shootout, at Union Station, that resulted in the deaths of five men, on June 17, 1933. He denied being there, but the authorities and the press were sure he was involved.[2] The FBI maintains that Floyd, Vernon Miller, and Adam Richetti, were involved.[3] Other witnesses say that the three at Union Station were Miller, Wilbur Underhill, and Harvey Bailey.[4] Image File history File links Metadata No higher resolution available. ... Charles Arthur “Pretty Boy” Floyd. ...


Death

After narrowly escaping ambush by the FBI several times, Floyd was killed on October 22, 1934, when FBI agents shot him near East Liverpool, Ohio. As is the case with many aspects of Floyd's life, the circumstances surrounding his final moments are disputed. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is a federal criminal investigative, intelligence agency, and the primary investigative arm of the United States Department of Justice (DOJ). ... is the 295th day of the year (296th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1934 (MCMXXXIV) was a common year starting on Monday (link will display full 1934 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... East Liverpool from the air, looking south. ...


According to the FBI, four FBI agents, led by Melvin Purvis, and four members of the East Liverpool Police Department, led by Chief of Police Hugh McDermott, were searching the area south of Clarkson, Ohio, in two separate cars. They spotted a car moving from behind a corn crib, and then move back. Floyd then emerged from the car and drew a .45 caliber pistols, the FBI agents opened fire. Floyd reported said: "I'm done for; you've hit me twice." Floyd died about fifteen minutes after he had been shot.[3] Melvin Purvis Melvin Horace Purvis, Jr. ...


There were reports that said: "Floyd died cursing his killers to the end." But most likely these were done by newspapers to sell copies.[citation needed]


However, Chester Smith, a retired East Liverpool Police Captain, the sharpshooter who claimed that he shot Floyd first, stated in a 1979 interview, that after he had (deliberately) wounded, but not killed, Floyd. A marksman (also designated marksman) is a profession which is mostly to be found in military context. ... Also: 1979 by Smashing Pumpkins. ...

Said Smith: "I knew Purvis couldn't hit him, so I dropped him with two shots from my .32 Winchester rifle."

Smith claims that he then disarmed Floyd, and that Melvin Purvis, the agent in charge, ran up and ordered: "Back away from that man. I want to talk to him." Pervis questioned him briefly and then ordered him shot at point-blank range, telling agent Herman Hollis to "Fire into him." The interviewer asked if there was a coverup by the FBI, and Smith responded: "Sure was, because they didn't want it to get out that he'd been killed that way." This is extremely controversial, because, if true, Purvis effectively executed Floyd without benefit of judge or jury.[5]


FBI agent Winfred E. Hopton disputes Chester Smith's claim in a letter to the editors of Time Magazine, that appeared in the Monday, Nov. 19, 1979 issue, in response to the Time article "Blasting a G-Man Myth". In his letter he states that he was one of four FBI agents were present when Floyd was killed, on a farm several miles from East Liverpool, Ohio. He also states that no members of the East Liverpool Police Department were present, of which Smith was a member. The members of the East Liverpool PD arrived after Floyd was already mortally wounded. He also says that when the four agents confronted Floyd, Floyd turned to fire on them, and two of the four killed Floyd almost instantly. Smith said that Herman Hollis gave the final shot to Floyd on the order of Purvis, but Hopton says Hollis was not present. Hopton also states Floyd's body was transported back to East Liverpool in his [Hopton's] personal car.[6] (Clockwise from upper left) Time magazine covers from May 7, 1945; July 25, 1969; December 31, 1999; September 14, 2001; and April 21, 2003. ...


Floyd's body was placed on public display in Sallisaw, Oklahoma. His funeral was attended by between twenty and forty thousand people, and remains the largest funeral in Oklahoma history. He was buried in Akins, Oklahoma. Sallisaw is a city in Sequoyah County, Oklahoma, United States. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Official language(s) None Capital Oklahoma City Largest city Oklahoma City Area  Ranked 20th  - Total 69,898 sq mi (181,196 km²)  - Width 230 miles (370 km)  - Length 298 miles (480 km)  - % water 1. ... Akins is a census-designated place located in Sequoyah County, Oklahoma. ... Official language(s) None Capital Oklahoma City Largest city Oklahoma City Area  Ranked 20th  - Total 69,898 sq mi (181,196 km²)  - Width 230 miles (370 km)  - Length 298 miles (480 km)  - % water 1. ...


Legacy

Floyd earned his nickname from the paymaster's description of him in his first major robbery as "a pretty boy." Though he hated it, it had staying power.[7]


Five years after Floyd's death, Woody Guthrie wrote a ballad romanticizing his life of crime. This song has been performed by many of the great figures in country and folk music, like Joan Baez as well as Ramblin' Jack Elliott, and was recorded by Bob Dylan on the Smithsonian's tribute to Guthrie in 1988. The song plays up Floyd's generosity to the poor, and contains the very famous line: Woodrow Wilson Guthrie (July 14, 1912–October 3, 1967) was a prolific American songwriter and folk musician. ... Illustration by Arthur Rackham of the ballad The Twa Corbies A ballad is a story, usually a narrative or poem, in a song. ... Folk music can have a number of different meanings, including: Traditional music: The original meaning of the term folk music was synonymous with the term Traditional music, also often including World Music and Roots music; the term Traditional music was given its more specific meaning to distinguish it from the... Joan Chandos Baez (born January 9, 1941) is an American folk singer and songwriter known for her highly individual vocal style. ... Ramblin Jack Elliott Ramblin Jack Elliot (born Elliott Charles Adnopoz, August 1, 1931) is an American folk performer. ... This article is about the recording artist. ... The Smithsonian castle, as seen through the garden gate. ... Year 1988 (MCMLXXXVIII) was a leap year starting on Friday (link displays 1988 Gregorian calendar). ...

"Some will rob you with a six-gun,
And some with a fountain pen."

The song has also been covered by The Byrds on their album Sweetheart of the Rodeo, by Wall of Voodoo, by folk-punk band Ghost Mice, by Alastair Moock on his album Bad Moock Rising, and by Guthrie's son Arlo on his album Precious Friend with Pete Seeger. The Byrds (formed in Los Angeles, California, in 1964) were an American rock band. ... Sweetheart of the Rodeo is an album by American country rock band The Byrds, released on July 29, 1968 (see 1968 in music). ... Wall of Voodoo is a New Wave art - punk group from Los Angeles best known for the 1983 hit Mexican Radio. ... Ghost Mice is a two-piece folk-punk band that hails from Bloomington, IN. Ghost Mice was created from the ashes of former pop-punk bands The Devil is Electric and Operation: Cliff Clavin. ... Alastair Moock (born 1973 in New York, NY) is an American folk singer/songwriter based out of Boston. ... Arlo Davy Guthrie (born July 10, 1947) is an American folk singer. ... Precious Friend is a record by Arlo Guthrie and Pete Seeger with Shenandoah. ... Peter Seeger (born May 3, 1919), almost universally known as Pete Seeger, is a folk singer, political activist, and author. ...


It has been suggested that Flattop Jones, a villain from the Dick Tracy comic strip, was modeled on Floyd. Like the real-life figure, Flattop hailed from Oklahoma's Cookson Hills. Flattop Jones is a villain created by Chester Gould for the Dick Tracy comic strip and is the most popular one in the strips history. ... Dick Tracy is a long-running comic strip featuring a popular and familiar character in American pop culture. ...


A film, Pretty Boy Floyd, was made in 1960 by Herbert J. Leder, starring John Ericson. Another film, A Bullet for Pretty Boy, was released in 1970, starring Fabian. He was also played by Steve Kanaly in the 1973 film Dillinger, and by Bo Hopkins in the 1975 TV-movie, The Kansas City Massacre. He was portrayed by Martin Sheen in the 1974 TV movie, The Story of Pretty Boy Floyd. This article is about motion pictures. ... Pretty Boy Floyd is a 1960 biographical film based on the career of the notorious 1930s outlaw Charles Arthur Pretty Boy Floyd. ... Year 1960 (MCMLX) was a leap year starting on Friday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Image:Leder. ... John Ericson (sometimes Erickson) (born Sep 25, 1926) in Düsseldorf, Germany is an actor and film and television star. ... Year 1970 (MCMLXX) was a common year starting on Thursday (link shows full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Fabian on Hollywood Squares, 1979 Fabiano Anthony Forte, who performed as Fabian, (born February 6, 1943 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) was an American teen idol of the late 1950s and early 1960s. ... Steve Kanaly is an American actor, best known for his role as Southfork Ranch foreman Ray Krebbs on the television soap opera Dallas from 1978 to 1989. ... For the song by James Blunt, see 1973 (song). ... Dillinger is a 1973 gangster film which shows evidence of being strongly influenced by the films of Sam Peckinpah, as well as borrowing cinematically from the Warren Beatty vehicle, Bonnie and Clyde. ... Bo Hopkins (born February 2, 1942 in Greenville, South Carolina) is an American actor. ... Year 1975 (MCMLXXV) was a common year starting on Wednesday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... A television movie (also TV movie, TV-movie, made-for-TV movie, etc. ... Martin Sheen (born August 3, 1940 as Ramón Gerardo Antonio Estévez) is an Emmy- and Golden Globe Award-winning American actor. ... Year 1974 (MCMLXXIV) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display full calendar) of the 1974 Gregorian calendar. ... A television movie (also TV movie, TV-movie, made-for-TV movie, etc. ...


Pretty Boy Floyd is mentioned in Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five's "The Message" at 05:27 (Now you're unemployed, all null an' void; Walkin' round like you're Pretty Boy Floyd). DJ Grandmaster Flash was one of the pioneers of hip-hop DJing, cutting, and mixing. ... For Nas song, see The Message (Nas song). ...


Many books have been written about Pretty Boy Floyd, including a semi-fictionalized biography by Pulitzer Prize-winner Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana in 1994. In this work, Floyd is sympathetically portrayed as a good natured man and a reluctant killer, popular with women but devoted to his family. He is more a victim of the poor social conditions of the time than a cold blooded criminal. The Pulitzer Prize is an American award regarded as the highest national honor in print journalism, literary achievements, and musical composition. ... Larry McMurtry (born June 3, 1936 in Wichita Falls, Texas) is a novelist, screenwriter, and essayist. ... Diana Ossana is an American Academy Award-winning writer who has collaborated on writing screenplays, teleplays, and novels with Pulitzer Prize-winning author Larry McMurtry since they first worked together in 1992, on the semi-fictionalized biography Pretty Boy Floyd. ... Year 1994 (MCMXCIV) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will display full 1994 Gregorian calendar). ...


There were also two glam metal bands called Pretty Boy Floyd, a Canadian band that has broken up and an American band who are still together. See: Pretty Boy Floyd (American) and Pretty Boy Floyd (Canadian). Glam metal is a sub-genre of heavy metal music that arose in the late 1970s - early 1980s in the United States. ... Pretty Boy Floyd is an American Glam Metal band. ... Pretty Boy Floyd were a Canadian glam metal band. ...


Floyd was mentioned in the novel The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck, in which the mother of the Joad children claims that she knew Floyd's mother and is afraid that her son Tom might become bitter and violent like Floyd. This article is about the novel. ... John Ernst Steinbeck (February 27, 1902 – December 20, 1968) was one of the best-known and most widely read American writers of the 20th century. ...

  • Depression era gangsters

    Video clips of Depression era gangsters, including Pretty Boy Floyd, Baby Face Nelson, Machine Gun Kelly, and more (1920s).


    Depression era gangsters. ... Depression era gangsters. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ...

  • Problems seeing the videos? See media help.

Sources

  • Time, 22 October 1934
  • "Sister of infamous gunslinger 'Pretty Boy Floyd' recalls a kindly brother," Associated Press; May 14, 2002

is the 295th day of the year (296th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1934 (MCMXXXIV) was a common year starting on Monday (link will display full 1934 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... May 14 is the 134th day of the year (135th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Also see: 2002 (number). ...

External links

East Liverpool from the air, looking south. ...

References:

  • King, Jeffrey, "The Life and Death of Pretty Boy Floyd" Atlas Books, 1998; ISBN 0-87338-582-9
  • McMurtry, Larry and Ossana, Diana , "Pretty Boy Floyd," Simon & Schuster; ISBN 0-671-89167-7

  Results from FactBites:
 
Pretty Boy Floyd - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (952 words)
Charles Arthur "Pretty Boy" Floyd (February 3, 1904 – October 22, 1934) was a American bank robber and alleged killer, romanticized by the press and by folk singer Woody Guthrie in The Ballad of Pretty Boy Floyd.
Floyd was born in rural Georgia on February 3, 1904.
Floyd was mentioned in the novel The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck, in which the mother of the Joad children claims that she knew Floyd's mother and is afraid that her son Tom might become bitter and violent like Floyd.
Pretty Boy Floyd (1765 words)
In the mid 1920's Floyd lived and operated in the East Liverpool, Ohio area as a hired gun for the bootleggers and rum-runners along the Midland, PA and Steubenville, OH stretch of the Ohio River.
Floyd is reputed to have maintained relationships with both Ruby and Beulah throughout the rest of his life even posing as their husbands under assumed names.
Floyd dropped his gun, grabbed his right forearm where he had been hit, but still jumped up and continued to run, darting for cover in the wooded area nearby.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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