In 1994, while doing research on the creation of the Lone Ranger for my first book, I spent four days with Fran Striker, Jr., the son of the creator. It still surprises me how few people know that an unassuming, imaginative writer from Buffalo, New York created, developed, and wrote the Lone Ranger,Green Hornet, Sgt. Preston of the Yukon, and many others. Fran Striker literally wrote thousands of radio shows, novels, and comics featuring these characters, in addition to overseeing the production of records, films, and television treatments.
Fran shared many stories about his father, most if not all, reflecting his loyalty to friends, his compassion toward others, and his integrity as a human being. “To those who listened to his thrice-weekly radio broadcasts,” Striker, Jr. reminds us through a biography he wrote of his dad, “[the Lone Ranger] was clean living and goodness. He was justice for all. He was the personification of those traits of character that every parent hopes their child will possess, when grown… But to me, all of those admirable traits of character given to the Ranger were so familiar, so recognizable….”
During the last day of our conversation, I noticed a small piece of paper, set in a simple, wooden frame. When I asked Fran about it, he smiled and told me that it was something that had sat on his dad’s desk for years. It was the senior Striker’s philosophy, a code by which he lived. Fran called it The I Believes. It was later adapted to become The Lone Ranger Creed:
…that to have a friend, a man must be one.
…that all men are created equal and that everyone has within himself the power to help make this a better world.
…that God put the firewood there, but every man must gather and light it for himself.
…in being prepared physically, mentally, and morally to fight when necessary, for that which is right.
…that a man should make the most of what he has.
…that “this government, of the people, by the people, and for the people,” shall live always.
…that man should live by the rule of what is best for the greatest number.
…that sooner or later, somewhere, somehow, we must settle with the world and make payment for what we have taken.
…that all things change but truth and that truth alone lives on forever.
…in my creator, my country, and my fellow man.
– Fran Striker