Researchers have claimed that the real Lone Ranger was actually a former slave.
The Lone Ranger was a beloved all-American hero, the gun-slinging, bandit-catching arm of justice for the dangerous and wild west.
His adventures kept eager little boys glued to the radio for two decades.
He inspired novels, comic books, and a TV show starring the venerable Clayton Moore, and Disney recently got in on the action, releasing its own glamorous version of the tale in theaters this July.
Now, an Illinois scholar is convinced that he's tracked the legend to his lair.
Art Burton, a researcher and author of "Black Gun, Silver Star," believes the Lone Ranger was a flesh and bones hero-an African American man named Bass Reeves, the New York Daily News reported.
Born an illiterate slave in 1838, Reeves went on to become a volatile mixture of Superman and Sherlock Holmes, with a little bit of Chuck Norris' invincibility thrown in.
At 6 foot 2, 190 pounds, he was a sharp shooter who could handle a gun in both hands.
He would gallop into a thicket full of dangerous outlaws and escape unharmed, his mustache still perfectly curled. It was a life worthy of a movie script.
Reeves was brought to the front lines of the Civil War by his white Texan master.
When a card game ended in disagreement, he pummeled over his master and ran away to the Indian Territory.
Art Burton spent 20 years researching Bass Reeves' life. He compiled his work into the book "Black Gun, Silver Star.