Cowboy Code Of Conduct

Gene Autry and Champion (Photo: courtesy of Frank J. Buchman)

Some words on behavior from silver screen cowboys from decades ago may be more relevant and needed than ever.

The West is associated with honor, bravery, and the pioneer spirit heading into the unknown to make a better life. Today, the West continues to celebrate that “cowboy spirit” of adventure and entrepreneurial pursuits.

Principled behavior became codes of conduct that many cowboy heroes promoted in the early day Western movies and television shows. It’s not difficult to see how it wouldn’t be better following simple rules of polite and thoughtful deportment.

In a four-part series, the philosophies of four inspirational early day movie cowboys, unknown to many today, will be shared.

Singing cowboy songs, Gene Autry rode his famous horse named Champion in at least 93 movies and 91 television shows.

A world-renowned professional rodeo contractor, often entertaining at those rodeos, Autry also made worldwide public appearances. He and Champion performed at the Tri-County Fair in Herington which Grandma attended.

Autry made more than 640 recordings with 300 songs he wrote, including “Here Comes Santa Claus.”

War hero, rancher, baseball team owner, cowboy museum developer, radio, television, real estate proprietor, and comic book personality with signature cowboy toys, Autry was the most financially successful silver screen cowboy.

He’s the only entertainer to have five stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame: radio, recording, motion pictures, television, and live performance/theater.

Gene Autry’s Cowboy Code of Honor

1. The cowboy must never shoot first, hit a smaller man, or take unfair advantage.

2. He must never go back on his word, or a trust confided in him.

3. He must always tell the truth.

4. He must be gentle with children, the elderly, and animals.

5. He must not advocate or possess racially or religiously intolerant ideas.

6. He must help people in distress.

7. He must be a good worker.

8. He must keep himself clean in thought, speech, action, and personal habits.

9. He must respect women, parents, and his nation’s laws.

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10. The cowboy is a patriot.

Reminded of Matthew 7:7-11 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”