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Iron Eyes Cody
(1904 - 1999)

Joseph William 'Joe' Cody
(1902 - 1978?)

(From Old Corral collection)

Above are Roy Rogers and Iron Eyes Cody, real name: Espera Oscar de Corti (1904 - 1999).

And the answer is "Yes" ... am aware of the controversy over Iron Eyes Cody and his Native American heritage (or lack thereof). You'll find some links below which detail the issue of Cody being of Italian heritage, not Native American, and he was born in Kaplan, Vermilion Parish, Louisiana.

Question: if Cody was not Native American, why is he included in this section of the Old Corral? Answer: many readers identify Cody as one of the more important and recognized "cinema Indians" ... because of the quantity of film roles, his real life activities and presence, and his "tear-rolling-down-the-cheek" Keep America Beautiful public service ads. Ye Old Corral webmaster also had a inkling that if I left Iron Eyes out of this section, readers would ask why he wasn't included.

After his parents divorced, Iron Eye's father Antonio DeCorti moved to Texas and changed his name to Tony Corti. And Iron Eyes - and brothers Joe and Frank - joined their father in Texas. The brothers wound up in Hollywood ... with their last name changed to Cody. Over the years, Iron Eyes claimed membership in several different tribes including Cherokee and Cree.

The Social Security Death Index (SSDI) has a record for Iron E. Cody - he was born April 3, 1904, and passed away January 4, 1999. Wikipedia reports his death was due to mesothelioma.

Iron Eyes received a Golden Boot award at the 1984 ceremony.

The Keep America Beautiful organization has an Iron Eyes Cody Award which honors outstanding volunteers for exceptional leadership in raising public awareness about litter prevention, roadside and community beautification, solid waste issues, and the need for citizens to participate in activities that preserve and enhance natural resources and public lands.

  Although some of the data is incomplete or inaccurate, the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) has information on Iron Eyes Cody:

1970 - Keep America Beautiful television ads with Iron Eyes Cody shedding a tear (one minute long):
Iron Eyes in a canoe:
Iron Eyes on horseback:

Death notice for 'Crying Indian' Iron Eyes Cody in the January 5, 1999 Victorville, California Daily Press. He passed away at his home:

Death notice for Iron Eyes Cody in the January 5, 1999 Los Angeles Times:

Find A Grave website has the cremains of Iron Eyes and his first wife Bertha interred at Hollywood Forever, Hollywood, California. The marker shows his birth year as 1904:

There was an Iron Eyes Cody website, but it is no longer online:
The Internet Archive Wayback Machine has a saved copy of the website:

Articles about Iron Eyes Cody and the controversy regarding his Native American lineage:

Wikipedia biography of Iron Eyes Cody:

Iron Eyes Cody

(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Above from L-to-R are John Elliott, Bill Cody and Hank Bell looking over Iron Eyes Cody. In the right background are Sheila Mannors and Andy Shuford. From Cody's TEXAS PIONEERS (Monogram, 1932).

(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Above from L-to-R are Jean Carmen, James Newill (as Renfrew of the Mounted), Milburn Stone, and Roy Barcroft in a scene from CRASHING THROUGH (Monogram, 1939). On the stairs, and about to deliver a crushin' blow to Newill's noggin, is Iron Eyes Cody. Jean Carmen's most remembered role was as the rider of the paint horse in the Republic serial, THE PAINTED STALLION (1937), in which she was billed as Julia Thayer. In later life, Milburn Stone became 'Doc' on TV's long running GUNSMOKE.

(Courtesy of John F. White)

L-to-R are unidentified person, Dan White, Silver Tip Baker, and Iron Eyes Cody. The back of the photo is stamped 1939. Unsure if they were taking a break during the making of a film ... or working at some Circus / Wild West Show.

(Courtesy of Andy Southard)

Above - at the 4th Annual Golden Boot awards, August 15, 1986 and held at the Warner Center Marriott Hotel, Woodland Hills, California. From L-to-R are Andy's wife Patty Southard, Iron Eyes Cody, singin' cowboy Fred Scott and Andy Southard.

(Courtesy of Ancel Cook)

Above from L-to-R are Iron Eyes Cody, movie baddie Pierce Lyden and his wife Hazel Lyden. The photo was taken May, 1992 inside a limo on the way to a parade in Monrovia, California.

J. W. 'Joe' Cody

Above is J. W. 'Joe' Cody, the brother of Iron Eyes Cody. Crop / blowup from a KING OF THE STALLIONS lobby card.

Below is a screen capture of Joe Cody from the KING OF THE STALLIONS film.

Joe Cody is a "mystery man". Found no traces of him in family trees on And there were no death or funeral notices on or newspaper archive websites.

Family Search had the California Death Index and Social Security Death Index (SSDI) for Joseph W. Cody, born in Texas on November 1, 1901 or November 29, 1902 and passed away February 2, 1978 in the Los Angeles area. That MAY be him.

  Although some of the data is incomplete or inaccurate, the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) has information on J. W. 'Joe' Cody:

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