Lorne Greene as Ben Cartwright

Born on this date in 1915, Lorne Greene is best remembered as the widowed patriarch of the Cartwright clan in Bonanza, the second longest-running series on U.S. network television. Broadcast in color, Bonanza was a Sunday night viewing mainstay from 1959 to 1973.

Lorne Greene as Ben Cartwright in Bonanza
Lorne Greene as Ben Cartwright in Bonanza

The show chronicles the 1860's daily life of Ben Cartwright "Pa" as he reigns over his three spirited sons, Adam, Hoss, and Little Joe and their thousand acre ranch in Nevada.

The Cartwrights on horseback from 1959 Bonanza
The Cartwrights from 1959 Bonanza

Lorne Greene's character epitomized the characteristic morals, ethics, and heroism of the fifties' cowboys.

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