The Lone Ranger first appeared in 1933 in a radio show conceived either by WXYZ (Detroit) radio station owner George W. Trendle, or by Fran Striker, the show's writer.
Each episode was introduced by the announcer as follows: "In the early days of the western United States, a masked man and an Indian rode the plains, searching for truth and justice. Return with us now to those thrilling days of yesteryear, when from out of the past come the thundering hoofbeats of the great horse Silver! The Lone Ranger rides again!"
The character was originally believed to be inspired by Texas Ranger Captain John R. Hughes, to whom the book "The Lone Star Ranger" by Zane Grey was dedicated in 1915.
The radio series proved to be a hit running for an amazing 2,956 episodes. It also spawned a series of books (largely written by Striker), an equally popular television show that ran from 1949 to 1957, comic books, and several movies. The title character was played on the radio show by George Seaton, Earle Graser, and Brace Beemer. Clayton Moore acted the Lone Ranger on television, although during a contract dispute, Moore was replaced temporarily by John Hart, who wore a different style of mask. On the radio, Tonto was played by, among others, John Todd and Roland Parker; and in the television series, by Jay Silverheels, who was a Mohawk from the Six Nations Indian Reserve in Ontario, Canada. (Source: wikipedia.org)