The Crying Indian

The "Crying Indian" was a fake! The guy who starred in all those "Keep America Beautiful" ads during the 1970s turns out not to have had a single drop of Native American blood in him, despite his claims to the contrary. He was actually an Italian-American named Oscar DeCorti.

Advertising Identity/Imposters

Posted on Tue Aug 06, 2002


Shut the fuck up ! I Cried when I saw those !!1
Posted by Jemah  on  Fri Jun 25, 2004  at  04:11 PM
Wow! I guess your sources are more credible than CNN's! I was sure they listed his Native ancestry in their obituary on 04-Jan-99. I'd like to echo Jemah's post on 25-Jun-04. Shut the @#$% up!
Posted by Colin  on  Mon Nov 01, 2004  at  08:44 PM
It's true that Iron Eyes Cody was not a native american...a fact that surprised many who knew and worked with him. He had married a native american woman, adopted native american children, and was universally honored by tribes as a hero of their causes.

Iron Eyes Cody appeared in HUNDREDS of movies from the 1950's through the 1980's.

Regardless of his true heritage, he was a great man, and a heroic icon for the environment. He chose to live his life as an Indian, and did so.
Posted by Rob Wallace  on  Fri Dec 23, 2005  at  10:15 AM
Iron Eyes Cody lived most of his adult life as an Indian. That he was not an Indian by ancestry is disingenuous sure, but it is of minor significance when he spent 60 years of his life supporting Native American causes and living in that character. So he was a "convert". Big deal.

I have a 100% anglo-euro friend who has spent 20 years visiting the Oglalla Sioux reservation in SD. It is important to him. He exhibits certain Native American aspects of appearance (pony tail, western bolo, etc) and belief. But then he never says he is Native American, just that he values that heritage and incorporates some of it into his identity and life.
Posted by Inveterate skeptic  on  Thu Mar 09, 2006  at  03:17 AM
I forgot to include this link:

It features in great detail the fiction and facts of "Iron Eyes Cody" and his Italian-American heritage along with his life devoted to his adopted Indian identity.
Posted by Interested observer  on  Thu Mar 09, 2006  at  03:21 AM
"Italian-American named Oscar DeCorti" close but wrong, his name was not Oscar.

You can vote for "crying Indian" as the best PSA of all-time on this website:
Posted by Jrew  on  Mon Jul 23, 2007  at  03:59 AM
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