I was 8 years old…

The 30 minute “Have Gun Will Travel” starring Richard Boone began on CBS September 14, 1957, and aired on Saturday nights 9:30-10 ET (preceding “Gunsmoke”) for six seasons, 226 episodes, through August 3, 1963.

In the late 1950s, nothing was more popular on TV than cowboys and few gunslingers were more popular than Paladin. The dashing, daring character of Have Gun – Will Travel had the refined taste of James Bond and the wardrobe of Johnny Cash.

Based out of the luxurious Hotel Carlton in San Francisco, Paladin, played by Richard Boone, offered his services for steep fees, typically $1,000. He carried business cards embossed with his chess knight logo and his promise, “Have Gun – Will Travel.” Paladin was everything from guardian, tutor, rescuer, bounty hunter, treasure hunter, detective… whatever the client needed.

Paladin would attempt to solve the problem with minimal conflict using his cunning and education, but if the situation called for it his skill with both his fists and his gun would prove more than sufficient. Paladin would advertise his services through business cards that read simply:
Have Gun – Will Travel
Wire Paladin, San Francisco
This would as often as not lead to the mistaken idea that Paladin was a professional killer — a term he resented — which would either result in people who wanted to avoid violence turning down his offer without hearing him out, or people who wanted a killer demanding he assassinate someone.

Have Gun – Will Travel was an American Western series that was produced and originally broadcast by CBS on both television and radio from 1957 through 1963. The television version of the series starring Richard Boone was rated number three or number four in the Nielsen ratings every year of its first four seasons.

Set in the period of the Old West, the series follows the adventures of “Paladin”, played by Richard Boone, a gentleman investigator/gunfighter who travels around the Old West working as a gunfighter for hire. Although Paladin charges steep fees to clients who can afford to hire him, typically $1000 per job, he provides his services for free to poor people who need his help.

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