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Statues & Fountains

Popeye the Sailor - The cartoon character Popeye the Sailor has been immortalized in statues in two cities in America.

Popeye statue in Chester, Illinois overlooking the Mississippi River in Segar Memorial Park
Chester, IL Statue

The first was dedicated in Crystal City, Texas on March 26, 1937 to honor the region's spinach industry. Inscribed on its base was Popeye's favorite saying "I'm Popeye the Sailor Man. I am what I am and that's all that I am."

The other statue of Popeye is located in Chester, Illinois overlooking the Mississippi River in Segar Memorial Park. This statue honors Elzie Crisler Segar the Chester native who created the famous spinach-loving sailor (he originally liked garlic).

Segar's muscle-bound Popeye character debuted in the comic strip "Thimble Theater" on January 17, 1929 when Olive Oyl's then boyfriend, Ham Gravy recruited Popeye for an overseas adventure.

Within a year, Ham Gravy was written out of the strip and Popeye replaced him as Olive's sweetheart.

Popeye Cartoon

In 1932, Max Fleischer procured the rights from King Features to produce a series of Popeye Cartoons, which appeared on film in the Betty Boop cartoon entitled Popeye the Sailor (1933).

Popeye's creator died in 1938 at the age of forty-four from complications from a spleen ailment but his nautical hero remained to entertain generations to come.

Between the years 1958-63, a number of Popeye cartoons, formerly seen only in theaters, became available to local television markets nationwide. THE ALL NEW POPEYE HOUR was produced for CBS from 1978-81.


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