Jack Kelly is the charismatic leader of the Manhattan Newsies and eventually becomes the face of the strike. He is in love with David "Davey" Jacobs.
Jack was born in 1881 making him 17 at the time of the strike. Although his birthplace is unknown, his father is in the state penitentiary, and his mother is deceased. The other newsies think his parents are in Santa Fe to find a home. He is known to have been to the refuge, a jail for kids run by one of the movies antagonists, Warden Snyder. Jack is also known to want to run from his past and go to Santa Fe. Jack is a dreamer.
Jack recieved his nickname, Cowboy, for his dream of going west to Santa Fe, as well as his signature cowboy hat, bandana, and lasso tied like a belt. His real name is Francis Sullivan.
Jack created the idea of the strike at the age of 17 when the CEO of the huge newspaper (The World) (Andrew Pulitzer) raised the price of papers without notice. With a little bit of help from Spot Conlon, his intimidating Brooklyn ally, and the new newsie David, the newsies started the strike. But during a newsie rally at Irving Hall, he is arrested and his real name, Francis Sullivan, is revealed in court to the surprise of the other newsies. In an attempt to break out, he is offered a deal from Pulitzer to sell newspapers again and receive money for his trip to Santa Fe. At first, he refuses, but when Pulitzer threatens to put the other newsboys in the Refuge, he accepts it. The enraged newsies start to hate Jack, thinking he betrayed them, but he saves David, Les and their sister Sarah from the Delancey brothers and they reunite. The newsies eventually win the strike. Jack is offered a chance to go to Santa Fe by the governor, but refuses in favor of staying with his newsie family .
Is he a real Newsie? Edit
No, Jack is not one of the original Newsies from 1899. His name “Francis Sullivan” was inspired by a real Newsie from the strike named Jack Sullivan. Also Jack wasn’t the original leader of the strike. A 13 year old Kid Blink was.