AKA John Henry Holliday
Birthplace: Griffin, GA
Location of death: Glenwood Springs, CO
Cause of death: Tuberculosis
Remains: Buried, Pioneer Cemetery, Glenwood Springs, CO
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Wyatt Earp's reliable friend
Carrying one gun in a shoulder holster, another on his hip, and a long knife always at his ready, Doc Holliday was one of the old west's most famous gunfighters. Wyatt Earp described Holliday as "the most skillful gambler, and the nerviest, fastest, deadliest man with a six-gun I ever saw", and Bat Masterson said Holliday had "a mean disposition and an ungovernable temper, and under the influence of liquor was a most dangerous man".
Holliday's father was a pharmacist and Confederate soldier, who later became Mayor of Valdosta, GA. He graduated from dental school at the age of twenty, and worked as a dentist in Atlanta until his advancing tuberculosis forced him to seek out a drier climate. He settled briefly in Dallas, but as his hacking cough grew worse he had fewer and fewer patients, and he earned most of his income through gambling. He fled Dallas after a gunfight, and enhanced his reputation with gun and knifefights in Colorado, New Mexico, and Wyoming, before coming to Dodge City, KS. Holliday's friend, Wyatt Earp, was sometimes an assistant to the marshal in Dodge City, and when Earp was once outmanned by several rambunctious cowboys, Holliday arrived in the nick of time to save Earp's life. Later, when Earp resettled in Tombstone, AZ, Holliday followed him there, where he again came to the aid of his friend, in the famous shootout at the O.K. Corral.
The names are familiar from American legend: Wyatt and Morgan Earp were "special deputies" to their brother, Tombstone's marshal Virgil Earp, and the Earps had a running feud with Ike and Billy Clanton and Tom and Frank McLaury. On 26 October 1881, as the Clantons and McLaurys gathered near the O.K. Corral, the Earps approached, ostensibly to 'disarm' them, and Holliday stood with the Earps. At the Corral, Virgil Earp said simply, "I want your guns." Billy Clanton is said to have shot first. After about half a minute of furious gunfire, Frank and Tom McLaury and Billy Clanton were dead. Holliday and the Earps were charged with three murders, but acquitted on the grounds that their actions were reasonable and justified. The judge was said to have been related to the Earps, though his exact kinship remains unclear.
Within a few months, Virgil Earp was ambushed and crippled, and his brother Morgan Earp was shot and killed. After that, Holliday rode with the other Earps and a few friends on their "vigilante ride", as they sought out and killed at least four men they held responsible for Virgil's maiming and Morgan's death. For one of these killings, the shooting death of former deputy Frank Stilwell in a train yard in Tucson, Holliday was eventually arrested, but released due to lack of evidence. He died, not in a duel but from tuberculosis, at the age of 36 in 1887.
Father: Henry Burroughs Holliday (pharmacist, b. 11-Mar-1819)
Mother: Alice Jane McKey (m. 8-Jan-1849, d. 16-Sep-1866)
Sister: Martha Eleanora Holliday (b. 3-Dec-1849, d. 12-Jun-1850)
Mother: Rachel Martin (stepmother, m. 18-Dec-1866)
Girlfriend: Mary Katherine Horony (a.k.a. Kate Elder, prostitute, b. 1850, d. 1940)
University: DDS, Pennsylvania College of Dental Surgery (1872)
Unlawful Gambling Dallas, TX (Jan-1875)
Assault and Battery
Unlawful Possession of a Firearm carrying a concealed weapon
Risk Factors: Tuberculosis, Alcoholism
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