Charles 'Pretty Boy' Floyd: The Depression-Era Robin Hood

By | March 26, 2020

All About Pretty Boy Floyd

Charles "Pretty Boy" Floyd was more than just a notorious bank robber; he was a symbol of rebellion and resilience during the tough times of the Great Depression. Known for his good looks and daring heists, Floyd's reputation went beyond that of a mere criminal. He became a folk hero to many, seen as a modern-day Robin Hood who redistributed wealth in a time of widespread poverty. With a flair for the dramatic and a knack for evading law enforcement, Floyd's story is a captivating mix of charm and danger. Explore the life of this infamous outlaw who walked the line between hero and villain, leaving an indelible mark on American history.

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Mugshot of gangster Charles "Pretty Boy" Floyd.

One of the most colorful Depression-era criminals was the cherub-faced, Robin Hood–esque Charles "Pretty Boy" Floyd. Floyd's love for his machine gun and habit of robbing banks made him public enemy number one, but his fondness for destroying mortgages made him an outlaw hero of the 1930s. Here is the story of "Pretty Boy" Floyd, the "Robin Hood of the Cookson Hills."

The Young "Pretty Boy"

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Floyd had a clean-shaven baby face. (Getty Images)

Charles Arthur Floyd was born in 1904 in Adairsville, Georgia, but his family moved to Oklahoma when he was still a boy. It was bad timing: The impoverished farming family, like many others, was about to experience the Dust Bowl, one of the biggest man-made environmental disasters of the 20th century. Floyd soon turned to whatever he could to make money, from the oil fields to armed robbery.