Today would have been Pat Garrett’s 164th birthday, this famous gunslinger was made famous by killing Billy the Kid. So today we celebrate his life with eight famous gunslingers, just don’t do anything to get shot.
Wyatt Earp, who you may recall from Tombstone was a lawman as well as a gunslinger. In 1869 he took over his father’s position as constable in Lamar Missouri, which took him down the path to become a famous personality of the old west.
William Barclay Masterson, or Bat Masterson to his friends, was a bit of a renaissance man for his era. He was a buffalo hunter, U.S. Marshal, Army scout, avid fisherman, gambler, lawman, and sports editor. This all just goes to show you that these figures weren’t just a one dimensional character that just shot guns for a living.
“Wild Bill” Hickok wasn’t always known as “Wild Bill”, he was born to the name James Butler Hickok. One thing that this era has over our current time period is the wonderful nicknames, I mean who wouldn’t want to be called “Wild Bill” or “Bat”.
William H. Bonney, or Billy the Kid, was an accomplished gunslinger and fancy dresser. He made his way through the west making a name for himself as a dangerous outlaw / folk hero, well until he met up with Pat Garrett one last time in 1881 when Pat shot and killed the legendary young man.
Pat Garrett got his start as a lawman and gunslinger in 1880 when he became sheriff of Lincoln County, New Mexico. He made his name when he shot and killed Billy the Kid one year later in 1881. After that career defining moment he went on to become friends with Theodore Roosevelt, who appointed him as customs collector in El Paso, Texas.
Robert Leroy Parker, better known as Butch Cassidy, got his start as a criminal in 1880 when he stole a pair jeans and a pie from a clothier’s shop. He then went on to become a vicious criminal that robbed banks slaughtered people. In 1908 he and his longtime partner, the Sundance Kid, were shot down after they had fled to Bolivia.
John Henry “Doc” Holliday was a doc in the sense that he was a dentist. He became a good friend and confidant of Wyatt Earp as he made his way through the west. Doc even went so far as to fight alongside them in the infamous Gunfight at the O.K. Corral.
“Dirty” Dave Rudabaugh, was referred to as “dirty” because he had an alleged aversion to water, sounds like a pretty typical problem in the old west. According to legend he taught Doc Holliday how to shoot while Doc Holliday taught him how to play cards, a pretty fair trade-off if you ask me.