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A picture programs Frank “Rocky” Fiegel, a real-life individual that worked as the inspiration for the personality “Popeye.”

What’s True

Frank “Rocky” Fiegel was an actual individual that stayed in the home town of “Popeye” designerElzie Segar

What’s False

A picture commonly shared as if it reveals Fiegel really shows one more private unconnected to the “Popeye” franchise business.

The web’s rate of interest is regularly ignited by a photo apparently revealing Frank “Rocky” Fiegel, the guy thought to be comic artist E.C. Segar’s inspiration for the personality of “Popeye”:

The assert that Fiegel was the inspiration for “Popeye” is mostly exact. However, the image revealed over is not a photo of him.

Fred Grandinetti checked out the beginnings of the personality in his publication Popeye:An Illustrated Cultural History He discovered that the residents of Chester, Ill., where designer Segar was increased in the very early 1900s, most likely worked as an inspiration to Segar.

The characterization of Popeye, for instance, can be discovered in the appearance and also individuality of Fiegel, that had a solid chin, constantly smoked a pipeline, and also had a tendency for battles, according to Grandinetti:

The tradition of Chester, Illinois, holds that the personality of Popeye was influenced by community citizenFrank “Rocky” Fiegel Lee Huffstutler, herself a Chester regional, makes and also well sustains this disagreement. According to Huffstutler, Rocky Fiegel was of Polish descent and also coped with his mommy in a residence nearthe Evergreen Cemetery Mrs. Huffstutler explains him as “tall, strong, always ready for a fight and always a winner” …

Rocky functioned part-time at George Gozney’s hangout. When he completed his job and also had actually eaten a number of beers, he would certainly take a chair outside, seat himself, tilt the chair back, and also, with pipeline in his mouth, continue to rest in the sunlight. Of training course, the resting Rocky came to be an enjoyable target for the college kids that stopped by. They would certainly sneak near, scream noisally, and also run. Rocky would certainly stir up with a beginning and also leap out of his chair, arms smacking, prepared for a battle. yet alas, there would certainly be no challenger. The kids would certainly be a block away already.

In the March 28, 1947, concern of the Chester Herald Tribune, there is an obituaryfor Mr Fiegel, that passed away at his residence in Chester on March 24, 1947. Born January 27, 1868, he was 79 years old at the time of his fatality.

The editor created that Frank “Rocky” Fiegel was an acquainted personality in Chester and also was attributed for being the inspiration of Elsie Segar’s “Popeye.” The short article checks out: “In his younger days he performed amazing feats of strength. Because of his hardened physique he was affectionately known as “Rocky.” His angular jaw and also acquainted corn-cob pipeline obviously satisfied the young Segar.

Some variations of this case likewise specify that Fiegel, like Popeye, was a seafarer, yet that had not been the situation. Furthermore, Fiegel had not been knowledgeable about his duty in the production of Popeye till the last years of his life, according to the Southern Illinoisan:

In Chester, it is generally approved that Fiegel supplied Segar with the basis for the personality ofPopeye Although not a seafarer, and also much more likely to consume alcohol than spinach, Fiegel had the credibility of being as difficult and also as brave as the animation personality …

Fiegel, a bartender and also basic worker around Chester, rarely had stable job and also was commonly seen shirking around the community’s taverns …

It had not been till 1938, 9 years prior to he passed away, that he found out that he was the inspirationfor Popeye That was the year the strip’s designer, Segar, passed away.The St Louis Post-Dispatch ran an image of Fiegel being in a shaking chair and also smoking cigarettes a pipeline, claiming he was the inspiration for the personality.

While Fiegel most likely influenced Segar’s Popeye personality, the viral photo often affixed to this case does not really reveal him. The picture is among a confidential seafarer aboard the HMS Rodney in 1940. The picture is offered by means of the Imperial War Museum where it exists with the inscription: “A Leading Stoker nicknamed “Popeye”, with 21 years service”:

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Fiegel remained in his 70s at the time this photo was taken. Furthermore, HMS Rodney was a British battlewagon in solution of the Royal Navy, much from Fiegel’s residence in Chester.

An authentic photo of the “real life Popeye” can be seen in a 1979 short article released in the Carbondale, Ill., paper Southern Illinoisan concerning Chester’s well-known citizen (see leading right picture):

Sun, Apr 8, 1979– Page 33 · Southern Illinoisan (Carbondale, Illinois) ·Newspapers com

Here’s a bigger variation of that picture:

Fiegel died in 1947 and also was hidden in an unmarked tomb. According to the Official Popeye Fan Club, this was treated in 1996 when a headstone birthing a 1929 variation of Popeye was positioned at Fiegel’s last relaxing location:

On September 7, 1996, Fiegel’s previously unmarked tomb was ultimately noted with a headstone. The pen was inscripted with the 1929 variation of E.C. Segar’s Popeye personality. This variation of Popeye most resembles his famous ‘the real world’ equivalent.

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