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Sunday, 23 November 2014

Wyatt Earp

Wyatt Earp (1848- 1929) was at different times in his life a constable, city policeman, county sheriff, teamster, buffalo hunter, bouncer, saloon-keeper, gambler, brothel owner, pimp, miner, and boxing referee.

Earp spent his early life in Iowa. He landed in the cattle boomtown of Wichita, Kansas, where he became a deputy city marshal for one year and developed a solid reputation as a lawman. In 1876 he followed his brother James to Dodge City, Kansas, where he became an assistant city marshal.

Wyatt Earp at age 21[22] in 1869 or 1870,
The "Gunfight at the OK Corral" took place at about 3:00 p.m. on October 26, 1881 in Tombstone, Arizona, Wyatt Earp, his two brothers, and Doc Holliday shot it out with Ike Clanton's gang. Three members of Clanton's gang were killed; Earp's brothers were wounded. It is generally regarded as the most famous shootout in the history of the American Wild West.
Tombstone, Arizona in 1881 photographed by C. S. Fly.

Unlike his lawmen brothers Virgil and James, and Doc Holliday, Wyatt was never wounded in any of the gunfights, which only added to his mystique after his death.

Wyatt Earp was also a boxing referee. His reputation suffered irreparably when he refereed the Fitzsimmons-Sharkey boxing match in 1896 and called a foul that led everyone to believe he fixed the fight.

In 1901, Earp moved to Southern California. In his later years he became friends with a young actor named Marion Morrison, or more famously, John Wayne. Earp became a fixture on silent Western sets, telling stories of his younger years.

The black-and-white 1923 Western Wild Bill Hickok starring William Hart was the first film to depict Wyatt Earp.

Wyatt Earp at home on August 9, 1923, at age 75. Picture by John H. Flood Jr
When he died in Los Angeles on January 13, 1929, Earp was better known for his notorious handling of the Fitzsimmons-Sharkey fight than the O.K. Corral shoot out. An extremely flattering, largely fictionalized, bestselling biography, Wyatt Earp: Frontier Marshal, published after his death created his reputation as a fearless lawman.

Wyatt Earp: Frontier Marshal omitted Earp's common-law wife of 46 years after his widow threatened to sue the author.

Source Wikipedia

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