Fran Striker was a guiding force for radio’s most famous adventure shows.
Striker began his radio career in Buffalo, New York, during the 1920s. He wrote for local stations WEBR and WGR before selling three series to WXYZ/Detroit.
In early 1933, WXYZ owner George W. Trendle asked Striker to write a new adventure series, The Lone Ranger. Following Trendle’s suggestions, Striker created a solemn, honest hero who was “the embodiment of living prayer” and gave him a sidekick named Tonto.
The Lone Ranger was an instant national success. Striker worked as a writer and editor throughout the show’s 21-year run, in addition to producing a Lone Ranger comic strip and a series of Lone Ranger novels. In 1939, it was estimated that Striker wrote 60,000 words a week.
Next, Trendle approached Striker about creating a modern-day adventure show, which became The Green Hornet. From 1936 to 1952, the Green Hornet—the secret identity of “daring young publisher Britt Reid”—matched wits with the underworld, aided by his valet Kato and his powerful car, Black Beauty.
Striker later wrote WXYZ’s long-running Challenge of the Yukon and the FBI-inspired drama Ned Jordan, Secret Agent.
Fran Striker died on September 4, 1962.
He was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 1988.