Did You Know the Crying Native American From the 70’s Litter PSA Was From Kaplan? [Video]
During the 70s and 80s, there was a PSA from the "Keep America Beautiful" organization that is forever burned into my brain. If you've ever seen it, I'm sure it's burned into yours too. Well, I was today years old when I learned the Native American crying in the commercial is from Kaplan!
As a kid, seeing this shedding a tear after seeing people throw trash out of their car windows made an indelible mark on me. To this day if I walk by trash anywhere on the street, in a park, in a parking lot or anywhere, I'll stop and pick it up. The reason I do is 100% because of this PSA and the crying Native American.
I was a bit floored to learn today that the man who has made such an impact on me is actually from Kaplan!
The man was known as Iron Eyes Cody, born April 3, 1904, in Kaplan, La. He also wasn't Native American, he was Italian. His birth name was Espera Oscar de Corti. Iron Eyes Cody grew up in Gueydan, La, with his two brothers, Frank and Joseph, as well as his sister Victoria.
Cody had quite a career on the silver screen, most notably having a role in Bob Hope's 1948 film "The Paleface".
However, it's his "Keep America Beautiful" PSA that made him a part of millions of people's lives.