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Pretty Boy Floyd was an American bank robber best known for his constant run-ins with police and violent bank robberies throughout his life.
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Criminal, bank robber. Born Charles Arthur Floyd in Georgia, one of seven children. His family moved soon after to Oklahoma, where they owned a farm and were extremely poor.
After an unlikely first career as a farmer, Floyd turned to crime to escapethe poverty of the Depression era, which hit farmers in the "Dust Bowl"especially hard.
He married Ruby Hargrove in 1921; they had a son, Jack Dempsey Floyd, who was born while Floyd was serving a three year sentence in prison for a robbing a Kroger store in St. Louis. Ruby also divorced Floyd during his imprisonment.
Upon returning to his parents farm, Floyd is said to have killed a man accused, but acquitted, of killing his father. He became a hired gun for bootleggers along stretches of the Ohio River.
Known for his reckless use of a machine gun, Floyd began,with a group of gangster accomplices, robbing banks in Ohio, andsoon moved on to Michigan, Kentucky, and Oklahoma. During his crime spree, bank insurance rates in Oklahoma are reported to have doubled. He became popular withthe public by destroying mortgage papers at many of the banks he robbed,liberating many debt-ridden citizens.
After the capture of John Dillinger, Floyd was named "Public Enemy No.1," and a $23,000 reward was offered for him ,dead or alive. Finally, in 1934, following another bank robbery, he was found, shot, and killed by FBI agents during achase.
Floyd's legend was put into song, in Woody Guthrie's "Pretty Boy Floyd."
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