Question on source of information

I’m having trouble verifying a piece of information in the article titled “Is There a Historical Basis for Zorro?”, which is at www.straightdope.com/columns/read/1814/is-there-a-historical-basis-for-zorro. It was written by the “Science Advisory Board.” The article says that Johnston McCulley, the creator of Zorro, started as a reporter for the Police Gazette. Can anyone tell me the source of this information? Thank you.

That is unfortunately before I started working. You can try contacting member Eutychus on here via PM and see if he can recall his source.

Hi … I was the author of that report. Unfortunately, since it was 12 years ago, I don’t recall what my source was.

Sorry!

Wiki makes the claim, but doesn’t list a source.

The historical basis for Zorro

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Lamport

That whole article smacks of [citation needed]. Even its own introductory paragraph says “The attribution of the [El Zorro] nickname, however, is disputed.”

FWIW, the Wiki article about Zorro lists Lamport as one of many possible inspirations, and not the first candidate in the list either.

As to the point of specific piece of info in Cecil’s article that’s being asked about here (“Johnston McCulley, the creator of Zorro, started as a reporter for the Police Gazette.”), the Wikipedia article does say that too, but Cecil’s article is from August 2000, and the Wikipedia article appears to have been created in December 2002, so the Wiki article can’t be called a source for Cecil. Supporting, yes, as far as the reliability of a Wikipedia article goes, but not a source.

And adding (missed edit window): The Wikipedia article about Johnston McCulleyonly dates back to October 2005, and doesn’t mention The Police Gazette until the following February.

Considering that I wrote the piece in August of 2000and Wikipedia wasn’t launched until January of 2001 … yeah, I think it’s safe to say that Wikipedia can’t be called as a source.

Cite 1: 101 Little Known Facts by Chaz Allen
Cite 2: *Encyclopedia of Pulp Fiction Writers *by Lee Server
Cite 3: *Literary Afterlife: The Posthumous Continuations of 325 Authors’ Fictional Characters *by Bernard A. Drew
Each of these are somewhat offhand mentions.

Pedantic factual correction, the article was not written by Cecil.

Thank you all for your replies. I was curious about the source for this one because it’s the oldest reference I’ve found so far. But the additional links you provide are helpful. :slight_smile:

That’s fine. I missed Eutychus’ byline, but I always appreciate correction when called for. And Euty did chime in a few moments agoto claim appropriate credit.

(Isn’t this where the typical “Cecil should get all the credit” hijack starts?) :stuck_out_tongue:

Which wiki?
Powers &8^]