On January 13, 1929, 90 years ago today, former Wild West lawman Wyatt Earp died in Los Angeles. He was 80.
Born in Illinois, Earp led a nomadic frontier life. There was a stint as an assistant marshal in Dodge City, Kansas, and his involvement in the celebrated Gunfight at the O.K. Corral in Tombstone, Arizona.
Earp ended his days in California, telling his story to author Stuart Lake, whose book, "Wyatt Earp Frontier Marshal," came out two years after Earp's death.
Not strictly accurate in every particular, the book jump-started a Wyatt Earp legend that has only grown over the years.
A TV series, "The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp," based loosely on his life, ran from 1955 to 1961, with Hugh O'Brien in the title role:
And he's been portrayed multiple times in the movies, including the 1994 film "Wyatt Earp," with Kevin Costner as Wyatt and Dennis Quaid as his sharpshooting buddy, Doc Holliday.
Exaggerated though his frontier exploits may be, Wyatt Earp has secured a permanent place in our popular culture.
- Wyatt Earp History Page
- 6 things you should know about Wyatt Earp (History Channel)
- Wyatt Earp myth busters (True West)
Story produced by Charis Satchell.