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Clyde Barrow was a notorious American outlaw,
bank robber, murderer, and leader (with
Bonnie Parker) of the infamous Barrow gang.
Long before their crimes were immortalized
on the silver screen, the story of Bonnie
and Clyde's criminal exploits had fascinated
The popular image of Bonnie and Clyde was
fixed when his life as an outlaw was told
in Arthur Penn's 1967 motion picture Bonnie
and Clyde. Warren Beatty portrayed Clyde,
while Faye Dunaway played Bonnie Parker.
| Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow
Biographical fast facts
Full or original name at birth: Clyde Chestnut Barrow *
Date and place of birth: March 24, 1909,
Telico, Texas, U.S.A.
Date, time, place and cause of death: May 23, 1934,
at 9:15 a.m., State Highway 154, near Gibsland, Louisiana, U.S.A.
(Justifiable homicide - Killed in a police ambush)
Siblings: Elvin Wilson Barrow (a.k.a. Jack Barrow) (b. June 20, 1894 - d. 1947)
Marvin Ivan Barrow (a.k.a. Buck Barrow) (b. March 14, 1903, Jones Prairie,
Milam County, Texas - d. July 29, 1933, King's Daughters Hospital,
Perry, Iowa, of a gunshot wound sustained in a shootout with police)
L.C. Barrow (b. August 13, 1913 - d. September 9, 1979)
Sisters: Artie Adell Barrow (b. March 30, 1899 - d. March 3, 1981, Dallas, Texas)
Nellie May Barrow (b. May 12, 1905 - d. 1968)
Lillian Marie Barrow (b. May 27, 1918, Dallas, Texas - d. February 3,
1999, Mesquite Memorial Hospital, 1011 North Galloway Avenue, Mesquite, Texas,
of diabetes complications)
Note: The Barrow family Bible and family members both report
that the "1905" year of birth inscribed on Buck Barrow's
gravestone is an error.
Father: Henry Barrow (a sharecropper/gas station owner)
(b. January 10, 1874 - d. June 19, 1957, Baylor Hospital,
Dallas, Texas, of a heart ailment)
Mother: Cumie (Walker)** (b. November 21, 1874, Nacogdoches,
Texas - d. August 14, 1942, 1620 Eagle Ford Road
[now, 1221 Singleton Blvd.], Dallas, Texas)
Burial site: Western Heights Cemetery,
1617 Fort Worth Avenue, Dallas, Texas, U.S.A.
Error corrections or clarifications
* He was not born
"Clyde Champion Barrow" even though he preferred
to be called that, and signed his name that way.
** Barrow family members usually use the spelling
Cumie, when referring to Clyde Barrow's mother.
Some report her name was "Cunie" but this error
appears to originate with an old phonebook listing
that misspelled her name. Be aware, the 1900 Census
offers the misspelling of "Cuma" for Clyde's mother,
but the 1910 Census had it correctly spelled Cumie.
Bonnie and Clyde made national headlines after
committing a series of violent armed bank robberies,
and holdups throughout the U.S. Southwest and Midwest
in 1932. Their crimes and exploits continued to
fascinate the public for the next two years. Their
deaths while on the run from police only served to
heighten public interest in the case. Subsequent
retelling of their story has continued to captivate
readers and moviegoers for decades.
It's nearly impossible to get an exact accounting
of the number of bank robberies, gas station and
market holdups, railroad depot robberies, and murders,
Clyde Barrow committed. There were several times that
crimes were attributed to the Barrow gang, while
documentation clearly placed them hundreds of miles
away, usually committing other crimes before multiple
eyewitnesses. It is likely the Barrow gang was
responsible for thirteen homicides, with Clyde the
probable shooter in about ten of those murders.
Several law enforcement officers were among the many
murders they committed, including highway patrolmen,
and local policemen killed in the line of duty.
The litany of charges Clyde Barrow faced, or was
wanted for, included auto theft, kidnapping, burglary,
robbery, and murder. He committed his crimes across
a wide expanse of the country's midsection, including
Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, Iowa, Arkansas, Kansas,
Minnesota, Missouri, Louisiana and Texas.
Contrary to their image as modern-day Robin Hoods,
Bonnie and Clyde and the Barrow gang did not just rob
large, faceless corporate banks, but far more often,
committed armed robberies of fruit stands, filling
stations, and any small convenience store along their
route of travel. Even their numerous bank robberies
tended to be of small-town banks who were struggling
in the midst of the Great Depression. Unlike the Robin
Hood legend, their motivation was personal greed, not
any great altruistic agenda. Widespread press coverage,
and their continuing evasion of capture, made them
one of the first celebrity criminals of the modern era.
Over time, a glamorous, romanticized image of Bonnie
and Clyde has developed, helped in no small measure
by their portrayal in various films. The most celebrated
of these was the 1967 film, Bonnie and Clyde,
starring Warren Beatty, and Faye Dunaway. A 1992
TV-movie, Bonnie & Clyde: The True Story, starred
Dana Ashbrook, Tracey Needham, Doug Savant and Billy
Morrissette, and offered a less romanticized version
of the Bonnie and Clyde story that was a little closer
to "The True Story" than director Arthur Penn's classic
1967 version. Nonetheless, Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker
were both little more than small-time crooks and
ruthless killers who displayed little or no social
conscience or remorse. After successfully evading
capture for more than two years, they were killed
in a barrage of bullets in a police ambush.
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This page was last updated January 1, 2012. |