Quick Query

Was Buffalo Bill Italian?

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William Cody, the showman also known as Buffalo Bill, was born in Iowa and was as American as they come. Cody died in 1917 but, by then, he had taken his wild west shows around the world. In the decades that followed his death, the fictional adventures of Buffalo Bill became popular reading material not only in America but also in Europe, including in Italy.

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During the Second World War, an Italian publisher decided that the heroes of pulp fiction should not belong to an enemy nation and concocted the story that Buffalo Bill was called Domenico Tombini. He had emigrated to America from Romagna as a young man and changed his name. It is impossible to tell how many people believed this improbable new version.

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Answered by: Nick Rennison