APRIL 3, 2016

CROW WAR CHIEF/HISTORIAN/BRONZE STAR RECIPIENT HIGH BIRD (JOE MEDICINE CROW) DIED

Born October 27, 1913, on the Crow Reservation in Montana, Joseph heard from his step-grandfather, White Man Runs Him, a U.S. Cavalry scout, a 1st-hand account of the Battle of the Little Bighorn.  Graduating from Linfield College (1938), he earned a master’s degree from the University of Southern California (1939)—the first Crow tribe member to earn a master’s.  As an infantry scout during World War II, Joseph became the last Crow war chief, completing the four required tasks:  touching an enemy without killing him, disarming an enemy, leading a successful war party, and stealing an enemy’s horse.  In 1948, he was appointed tribal historian and anthropologist.  In 1999, Joseph addressed the United Nations.  His books include Crow Migration Story, Medicine Crow, and From the Heart of Crow Country. In 2008, he received the Bronze Star and French Legion of Honor Chevalier medal for his wartime service.  In 2009, he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom.  Joseph died in Billings, Montana. 

Sources:  Mike McPhate, "Joseph Medicine Crow, Tribal War Chief and Historian, Dies at 102," New York Times, 4/4/2016.  Retrieved 6/26/2019, https://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/05/us/joseph-medicine-crow-tribal-war-chief-and-historian-dies-at-102.html.  Joe Medicine Crow," PBS.  Retrieved 6/26/2019, https://www.pbs.org/thewar/detail_5177.htm.  Joseph Medicine Crow," Montanakids. Retrieved 6/26/2019, http://montanakids.com/cool_stories/Famous_Montanans/Crow.htm
Photo:  Pete Souza, 8/12/2009.  Public domain.  Photograph taken by an officer or employee of the United States Government as part of that person’s official duties under the terms of Title 17, Chapter 1, Section 105 of the US Code.

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