One in four cowboys was black, despite the stories told in popular books and movies. In fact, it is believed that the real “Lone Ranger” was inspired by an African American man named Bass Reeves. Reeves escaped slavery during the civil war and eventually became a deputy U.S. Marshal, was a master of disguise, an expert marksman, had a Native American companion and rode a silver horse. During his career he was credited with arresting more than 3,000 felons.