I looked him up and found out more about him:
Halftown grew up in Buffalo, just a couple dozen miles away from the Seneca reservation where both of his parents were born. Chief got his middle name, Ora, from his dad. That was his father's first name. His dad worked as a professional middleweight boxer and mill worker while his mother, Katie stayed at home as a "housemaid" as she liked to be called. His grandfather toured with Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show.
Halftown started his legendary channel 6 broadcasts a couple days after Labor Day of 1950. Upon "retiring" in 1999, he had spent 50 years (a half-century) on WFIL-TV that later became WPVI. It is the longest running local TV children's show in the history of the world. Not bad for a guy who was hired for a six-week series.
On his broadcasts and public appearances, Chief Halftown always dressed in full Indian costume. This included a full-feathered bonnet, beads, and buckskin. The show started out as an inexpensive cartoon vehicle and within weeks, Halftown was a star. Eventually, the Chief also included lessons dealing with tribal folklore, customs, language, crafts and chants.
By Erica Stefanovich
Chief Halftown began broadcasting his self-titled children’s television program in September of 1950. Originally intended to be a simple cartoon show, it grew into the longest running local children’s program in the history of television. For nearly 50 years, Chief Halftown was a part of the lives of Philadelphia children.
Chief Halftown was a full-blooded Seneca Indian born in upstate New York. His parents were both born on an Indian reservation near Buffalo and his grandfather had toured with Buffalo Bill Cody’s Wild West Show. He moved to Pennsylvania with the hopes of becoming the next great crooner and enjoyed moderate success until after WWII. While those dreams were never to be fulfilled, he did find his way to fame. When his children’s show began broadcasting, he had to rent his own costume from a shop on Chestnut St. Throughout the years, he always appeared on camera in native headdress, beads and buckskin. These signature marks were not just an aesthetic choice but also a teaching tool. His show, which began as a cartoon show, grew into a place to showcase the talent of local children and to teach about Native American traditions and culture.
In 1950 Chief Halftown was battling a prevalent stereotype. On television and in movies, there were very distinct depictions of Native Americans, generally as so-called savages or sidekicks. John Wayne and Jimmie Stewart both starred in films about Native American wars that year. If there were good roles for Native Americans, such as Cochise in Jimmy Stewart’s Broken Arrow, they were generally not portrayed by Native American actors. Fortunately, Chief Halftown refused to play to stereotype. He famously claimed, “I had no idea what it would come to, but I vowed that I would be myself. I wouldn’t talk like a Hollywood Indian…I made it clear that I was an Indian and no one was to tell me how to be an Indian.“
For more on the subject, see TV Shows Featuring Indians.