Wild Bill Hickok
Long considered an American legend, Wild Bill Hickok was many things; frontiersman, army scout, marksman, and gambler.
Growing up in Illinois, he help to free slaves, became involved with the anti-slavery movement and served as a town sheriff in Kansas. It was while working as a teamster in 1861 that he killed at man after which gossip about his role in the fight became greatly exaggerated. He later served as a scout for the Federal army. In 1871 he became marshal of Abilene, Kansas.
During the civil war Hickok worked as a teamster, scout and spy. He was later appointed deputy U.S. marshal. He is best known for taming two of the most lawless towns of the American west, Hays City and Abilene. He traveled through New York with the famed Buffalo Bill's Wild West show as a sharpshooter.
When he wasn't keeping the peace, Wild Bill always like a good game of cards. He thought that if he perfected his skills a bit, some money could be made. He has been called a professional gambler, as opposed to the negative term of cardsharp. But he had no problem taking a pot from a sucker when called for. Gambling and card playing was bound to bring Wild Bill into contact with some of the more nefarious characters in the west.
Unemployed, Wild Bill decided he liked playing cards as much as being a lawman, so he grabbed with special set of cards and headed for Deadwood, in the Dakota Territory. There was a goldrush there and plenty of people from which to take their money.
A plot to kill Wild Bill Hickok so that he wouldn't be appointed marshal of the town of Deadwood was successful. A local bum was hired and shot Hickok in the back of the head from three feet away during a poker game. Hickok who usually sat with his back to the wall was maneuvered into sitting with his back to the back door of the saloon. Hickok was holding a hand that included a pair of aces and a pair of eights, which is now known as a Dead Man's hand. Jack McCall, the man who killed Wild Bill Hickok was tried and hung in 1877.
Wild Bill Hickok is buried just outside Deadwood, Dakota. Calamity Jane, rumored to be his lover at one point is buried next to him.