ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Popeye The Sailor Man

Updated on October 22, 2011

NAME: Popeye

AGE: 79

NATIONALITY: Citizen of the world

CLAIM TO FAME: The little guy who stands up for other little guys

HE is a little guy who loves getting into fist-fights and when the odds turn high against him, he just opens his can of spinach, gains supernatural strength and thrashes the bad guys. He is Popeye the Sailor Man, one of the world's most popular characters, who has just turned 79.

Whether it be from his addiction to spinach or the lyrics to his song, people of all ages imitate, collect, and aspire to be like Popeye. This muscle man was not even originally in the comic strip created by Elzie Segar. A cartoonist, he wrote Thimble Theatre and his first strip revolved around Olive Oyle's family. Popeye made his debut on January 17, 1929, in a guest spot in the Thimble Theatre, which Segar created for the New York Evening Journal. Over a period of months, Popeye developed from a supporting character to the central figure. When Segar finally brought the narrative to a close and tried to retire the sailor, outraged fans protested and demanded more adventures with Popeye. Segar obliged: the sailor replaced Ham as Olive's love interest, Castor Oyl was reduced to infrequent appearances, and the strip was renamed Thimble Theatre, Starring Popeye. In most newspapers now, the strip is named just Popeye.

Popeye, the one-eyed sailor, is always shown smoking his pipe and flexing his spinach-fuelled biceps with waif girlfriend Olive Oyl, his adopted baby Swee'Pea and his father Pappy, the burger-mooching Wimpy and hairy arch-rival Brutus at his side.

Popeye's adventures usually see him defending Olive Oyl against his glass-jawed rival Brutus. He made the leap to the silver screen in 1933 in an episode of a Betty Boop cartoon called Popeye the Sailor. Success came quickly, and Popeye was soon in newspaper comics and cinemas around the country. Popeye had his own cartoon show in the 1960s and more than 600 Popeye cartoons were drawn during the next four decades.

Popeye finally went to the big screen in a 1980 movie that starred comic Robin Williams as the sailor and Shelley Duvall as Olive Oyl.

The creator of the comic strip, Elzie Segar, was born and raised in Chester, as were the models for Popeye, Olive Oyl and Wimpy. Popeye's real-life alter ego, according to the locals of Chester, was Frank Fiegel, a one-eyed, pipe-smoking man with a penchant for fist-fights. Olive Oyle's inspiration, Dora Paskel, was unusually tall and thin and wore a bun at the nape of her neck. And theatre owner J. William Schuchert so loved hamburgers that he would send his employees out between performances to buy them.

The Popeye Fan Club and a Popeye museum are there as well. A six-foot Popeye doll teeters in the library and a bronze statue of Popeye overlooks the Mississippi at Segar Memorial Park.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)