1838, "South American fox-wolf," from Spanish zorro, masc. of zorra "fox," from Basque azaria "fox." The comic book hero, a variation on the Robin Hood theme set in old Spanish California, was created 1919 by U.S. writer Johnston McCulley (1883-1958).
His looks were modeled after Douglas Fairbanks, the actor best known for playing Robin Hood and zorro during the silent era.
In most parts where the Spanish language is spoken, it is known as the “zorro negro,” or black fox.
That something was our good friend Reynard—zorro they style him out here—whose proverbial cunning exceeds all other cunnings.
I might have fancied so, had I not heard a sharp crack from behind, and seen that the arm of El zorro was broken by a shot!