Talk:Folk hero

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John Dillinger?Edit

Seems like an obvious addition in keeping with some of the other American figures- if we're including Bonny & Clyde, can't really leave him out. (talk) 09:18, 30 January 2015 (UTC)

Current folk herosEdit

I have removed the following entries from the article:

All of these entries are public figures who are documented in the international media. This makes them unlikely to be "folk heros" in the sense of someone who is likely to become the subject of folk tales and to achieve mythic qualities similar to the other folk heros mentioned in the article.

The individuals listed above may be popular "heroes of the people" but that is, IMO, another category that is quite different from the concept being presented in this article.

--Richard 18:02, 27 November 2006 (UTC)


Why Marvin Heemeyer should be mentioned in this articleEdit

I can see arguments for and against including Marvin Heemeyer in this article. The major argument in favor of inclusion is the fact that so many people seem to want to recast his Wikipedia article into a hagiography of him as a popular hero. The major argument against inclusion is the question of whether his status as a folk hero has been documented outside of the Internet. Here is a mention of his "Internet folk hero" status in the Boston Globe. [1]. Note the sentence: "Websites sprung up celebrating Heemeyer as a folk hero and patriot." Nonetheless, the question is whether Heemeyer has made enough of an impression on the popular consciousness to warrant an entry here. I'm open to debating this question.

--Richard 19:01, 27 November 2006 (UTC)

The problem is not so much him being a "folk hero" but that it then starts to open up list to anybody putting in all kinds of people. Already this is starting to look like getting back to Wikipedia:Votes for deletion/List of heroes. At the very least I think that "...current international media." is perhaps a bit much. Was he described that way in countries outside of the US? CambridgeBayWeather (Talk) 23:59, 27 November 2006 (UTC)
Re: CambridgeBayWeather's comment about this looking like "List of heroes". I agree. It's more justifiable to have this article than an article which is a List of heroes but this article could get to be problematic. As I was adding entries to the article this morning, I started thinking... "You know, this really ought to be a category." Unfortunately, I've never created a category before so I want to read up on it before giving it a try. If anybody knows how to do it, go ahead and get it started.
If we get the category started, then we can drop the list of folk heroes from this article and just keep the intro which is the part that is worth keeping.
Re: Marvin Heemeyer. This is the problem with dealing with a "current" folk hero. Clearly he's a controversial figure and, at best, a folk hero among a limited number of people. Nonetheless, he fits many of the characteristics of a folk hero. I would lose the "international media" part in the intro to the section.
--Richard 00:27, 28 November 2006 (UTC)
As an aside why is Calamity Jane in the fictional section? She has a bithdate, deathdate and a picture in her article. CambridgeBayWeather (Talk) 12:46, 28 November 2006 (UTC)
Good point. I fixed this. I had contemplated adding Wyatt Earp, Wild Bill Hickock, Jesse James and Billy the Kid but was concerned whether these would qualify as "folk heroes" or something else. I would like to hear some opinions about whether or not the list part of this article should be converted into a category.

I've removed Heemeyer. He is repeatedly being pushed as a "folk hero" on various hero-related Wikipedia articles. However, it's not Wikipedia's place to make such a call, and this will really need the test of time to see if he is ever really considered a folk hero. Thoughts? --Ckatzchatspy 00:24, 22 April 2007 (UTC)

I endorse the removal. --Richard 06:42, 22 April 2007 (UTC)

Propose converting the list part of this article into a categoryEdit

At the very least, we could have this article and one or more lists (e.g. List of American folk heroes. Alternatively, we could have one or more categories. In any event, the intro paragraphs would stay here as a definition of what a folk hero is but it seems to me that there are better ways in Wikipedia to build lists. --Richard 19:02, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

Johnny Appleseed and John HenryEdit

This article lists Johnny Appleseed and John Henry as "folk heroes known to be fictional". Johnny Appleseed was a real man who had become a legend even before he died. His real name was John Chapman. Although it's not as clear with John Henry, I've found research arguing that he was also a real person and that his race with the steam drill may actually have taken place

Perhaps they should be moved to the first category? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Ksher712 (talkcontribs) 09:46, 11 December 2006 (UTC).

Great articleEdit

This is a great article! I'm very fond with it! -)-(-H- (|-|) -O-)-(- 07:39, 7 May 2007 (UTC)


I'm not sure why there is a need for a seperate article on US folk heroes. Are they not good enough for the main article? The lists are duplicated in places and could easily be merged into this. CambridgeBayWeather (Talk) 05:24, 5 June 2007 (UTC)

File:Pier Gerlofs Donia-statue, Frisia.jpg
Pier Gerlofs Donia, a great Frisian warlord and folk hero.

Why not Jack Sheppard?Edit

From what I can tell, Jack Sheppard was an 18th century British burglar who became famous for jailbreaks and wildly popularized with the poorer classes, becoming both a notorious public figure and a folk hero at the same time. Of course, the actions of his nemesis, criminal overlord and fraudulent "Thief-Taker General" Jonathan Wild, made Jack seem like a martyr because he was non-violent and had a slight build, a pale, gentle face and an innocent smile. Why not add Jack to the "Folk Hero" list? --Angeldeb82 21:25, 9 June 2007 (UTC)


I've illustrated the page with the image shown here, depicting a large statue of the Frisian folk hero, giant and warrior Grutte Pier (Pier Gerlofs Donia). -The Bold Guy- 11:06, 10 August 2007 (UTC)


I added link from zelda, and someone removed it. I know it seems silly but he really does fit the definition. I can not see any consistent reasoning for including a character from 'to kill a mockingbird' but not from the zelda series. Another example is Jayne Cobb. Neither is more or less or fictional or notable, it's just that one is considered 'higher' culture, which I don't think is an acceptable criterea for inclusion. What would make most sense is to include ones who have once been blieved to be real or that have been used as symbols for significant movements in reality. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:34, 23 October 2008 (UTC)

Ok, I just read the article of atticus finch, and I guess he qualifies under the conditions I suggested. nevermind.-- (talk) 20:37, 23 October 2008 (UTC)

I would like to see Atticus Finch in this section, I do believe he very much qualifies. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:27, 25 November 2009 (UTC)


' a·poc·ry·phal (ə-pŏk'rə-fəl) pronunciation adj.

  1. Of questionable authorship or authenticity.
  2. Erroneous; fictitious: “Wildly apocryphal rumors about starvation in Petrograd . . . raced through Russia's trenches” (W. Bruce Lincoln).
  3. Apocryphal Bible. Of or having to do with the Apocrypha.

I take it the title refers to the first definition, in which case "possibly" seems a bit redundant. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:38, 26 October 2008 (UTC)

Sam SteeleEdit

Sam Steele is pretty much the most famous Canadian folk hero, I think he deserves a mention in this article. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:22, 26 March 2009 (UTC)


Musashi is in there twice. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:50, 17 June 2010 (UTC)

Siegfried / Sigurðr known to be fictional?Edit

Is it really an established fact that Siegfried / Sigurðr was not a historical person? I mean, even if he obviously didn't slay a real dragon, does that mean the person himself is necessarily fictional? What sources do we have that prove he didn't exist? And if none, shouldn't he be moved into the "maybe historical, maybe not" section? -- (talk) 11:09, 4 October 2010 (UTC)

Some proposed additionsEdit

If no one objects in.....say, two weeks time, I would like to add the following to the list: Martin Luther King, Huey Newton, Huey Long, Rosa Parks, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, Rosie the Riveter/Ronnie the Bren Gun girl, Big Bill Haywood, Woody Guthrie, Bruce Springsteen, Ben Franklin, Paul Revere, Sam Adams, Patrick Henry, Nathan Hale, John Paul Jones, Ethan Allen, [Frances Marion]], and Uncle Sam/John Bull/Johnny Canuck.

If anyone objects, please object to an item or items of the group rather than the whole group, and give reasons.

Also, what is the criteria for American presidents being on the list? I notice Lincoln is on there but other presidents that might warrant inclusion (ex. JFK, FDR, Washington, and Jefferson) aren't.......?--Mobtown Mongrel (talk) 15:59, 12 March 2011 (UTC)

Far Too Americanised.Edit

Far Too Americanised. There are far too many from the US. Some are really trivial. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:35, 18 April 2011 (UTC)

This is a list, so not including entries simply because they are "American" is not how it is or should be (thats discrimination). If it was a list for examples of folk heroes (and not a list for every folk hero, as it is), than I could see your point. Also, this is English wiki, so there are bound to be more links for American (or English speaking) folk heroes than anything else. Some are indeed trivial though and should be removed, personally this article should be a list of historic (well established) folk heros, and not just anybody the media wants to call one.--$1LENCE D00600D (talk) 05:38, 5 April 2012 (UTC)

Carmine CroccoEdit

I read this page about folk heroes and - pardon - I found it really biased.

Anyway - who is this Carmine Crocco? Although I'm Italian, I've never heard about this guy. The Italian folk hero could be considered Garibaldi, Falcone and Borsellino ... But please, take it for you such foolishness. -- (talk) 18:03, 19 November 2013 (UTC)

Standards for Inclusion in List?Edit

This article is basically a list with no standard as to what gets included. Either a standard should be established, or the lists removed. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:14, 28 May 2014 (UTC)

Typically, the criteria for inclusion are: a stand alone article and a reliable source directly stating membership in the category.
I believe we've met the first criterion (though I haven't really checked). I'll clean that up as I work on the second point.
None of the current examples have cites stating they are "folk heroes". I've tagged the article as an example farm and the examples sections as unsourced. Over the next few days/weeks/months, I intend to dig in on these. Some will be trivially easy to source (well-sourced target articles on clear-cut cases); Johnny Appleseed comes to mind. Others won't be so easy. I tend to do a fairly cursory search on these. I cleaned up Signature song this way, sourcing what I could easily find, trashing the rest. (In the "Signature song" I did keep Judy Garland – "Over the Rainbow" because there MUST be a source somewhere...)
It's possible someone or someones won't like this. I invite them to join in and provide sources or present an argument as to why this article doesn't need to follow WP:V. - SummerPhD (talk) 19:04, 1 June 2014 (UTC)
I've just started to add refs and have to say: These lists are in horrible shape. While this page isn't very active (so I don't expect much response), there are a few issues that will need to be addressed in some way or another. The lists are sort of, kind of, maybe, but not really alphabetized. I'll worry about that when the rest of the problems are sorted out.
The write ups for individual entries range from "A (nationality) folk hero" to several sentences. Again, I'll worry about this later.
The Historically documented/Possibly apocryphal/known to be fictional breakdown is broken. There are "documented" heroes that are also "possibly apocryphal" and varying standards of "known to be fictional". Jesus, for example, now has a source. While Christians would no doubt say he is "documented", there are historian who express some doubt. I see no point in hashing that out here. The division is mushy and, IMO, not helpful. This, however, leaves us with a very long, unwieldy list. Any thoughts?
The source that I'm working on right now lists hundreds of examples. Personally, I see no value in an extensive list. A category covers this nicely. Any thoughts about reducing this list to a handful of frequently cited examples? - SummerPhD (talk) 04:23, 2 June 2014 (UTC)


I'm planning on trimming this page down a bit in faulty examples. People like Joan d'Ark are very notable and relevant national heroes, but Bonny and Clyde? Not in particular. Unless multiple independent sources refer to the subject as either a "folk hero", a "national hero" or another such variation, it should not be included. This isn't even a list article. Bataaf van Oranje (talk) 15:40, 10 June 2015 (UTC)

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Miloš ObilićEdit

Real or "Possibly apocryphal ", which is it? He's listed twice. 2001:56A:F414:D300:F090:6EA2:FCF8:9EE4 (talk) 03:56, 4 September 2016 (UTC)

This comment seems grossly out of place:

'Note: Fidel Castro and Che Guevara are seen as folk heroes by the radical left, despite having a track record of repression, tyranny, and the unapologetic promotion of violence to advance their goal of a developing world free of colonial oppression and exploitation.'

Countless 'heroes' on this page are no stranger to violence, and have bloodier hands by far, and for far less noble purposes. The first 'hero', Alexandre is a bonefide mass murdering genocidal sociopath who conquered... the WORLD because it was ostensibly his 'divine right'. (talk) 01:16, 28 May 2018 (UTC)Mr. Wiggles

This following comment seems grossly out of place:

'Note: Fidel Castro and Che Guevara are seen as folk heroes by the radical left, despite having a track record of repression, tyranny, and the unapologetic promotion of violence to advance their goal of a developing world free of colonial oppression and exploitation.'

Countless 'heroes' on this page are no stranger to violence, and have bloodier hands by far, and for far less noble purposes. The first 'hero', Alexandre is a bonefide mass murdering genocidal sociopath who conquered... the WORLD because it was ostensibly his 'divine right'. (talk) 01:16, 28 May 2018 (UTC)Mr. Wiggles

A few more I was wondering aboutEdit

I was thinking about it this morning and was thinking about Don Quixote, Scarlet Pimpernel, The Three Musketeers

There were a few more, I forgot already. It seems like they would fit in well with already established Arthur, Merlin, Robin Hood, Jeanne d'Arc (The Maid of Orléans), Guy Fawkes

Trying to bridge the gap obviously with people like Swamp Fox (Francis Marion), Daniel Boone, James Bowie, and Davy Crockett who were folk heroes but I see some but not others? I'm sure it ends up opening up the list to everyone and their mom if you end up adding Cesar Chavez, Rosa Parks, and everyone's favorite Che Guevara.. although I see Ghandi but not Mother Teresa, MLK, etc.. so yeah it gets scope creep revisionist history quick trying to add actual legitimate historical figures in with the rest but wanted to toss it here anyway.

WikiPally (talk) 19:33, 18 June 2018 (UTC)