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Most recognized figure of the wild west

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  • Most recognized figure of the wild west

    There are many; books and movies may not document the truth, therefore this is a tough call.
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    Jesse James
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    Wild Bill Hickock
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    Buffalo Bill Cody
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    Wyatt Earp
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    William "Billy the Kid" Bonney
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  • #2
    The Kid has to be number one on this list.
    You can mention Billy the Kid to anyone and they know instantly who he is.................the others I wouldnt be so sure about.
    And I believe that "Young Guns" and "Young Guns II" probably outnumbered the films "Wyatt Earp" and "Tombstone" in viewers.
    Loved "Tombstone"........Val Kilmer was my favorite..."I'm your huckleberry".

    Mark
    Deo Vindice
    Si vis pacem, para bellum. (If you want peace, prepare for war.)

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    • #3
      The most well-known among the general public is probably Billy the Kid, though I doubt many know his real name. If you said William Bonney folks wouldn't know who you were talking about. If you said Jesse James or Wyatt Earp, they would. So while Billy the Kid is the most well-known (not notable), William Bonney is not!
      "Anything worth fighting for is worth fighting dirty for"
      "The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step, and a lot of bitching"

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      • #4
        Man, this is tough. There's no one on this list that I haven't heard discussed my whole life.

        JS
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        • #5
          Originally posted by GeorgiaDixie
          The most well-known among the general public is probably Billy the Kid, though I doubt many know his real name. If you said William Bonney folks wouldn't know who you were talking about. If you said Jesse James or Wyatt Earp, they would. So while Billy the Kid is the most well-known (not notable), William Bonney is not!
          But........very few people call him William Bonney............
          Love the avatar, by the way...........Gordon always had his portrait done from that side to hide the scar from the bullet wound he received at Sharpsburg.

          Mark
          Deo Vindice
          Si vis pacem, para bellum. (If you want peace, prepare for war.)

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          • #6
            Wiliam Cody - hands down .... the 'Elvis' of the 19th Century...

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            • #7
              Originally posted by last_cav1971
              But........very few people call him William Bonney............
              Love the avatar, by the way...........Gordon always had his portrait done from that side to hide the scar from the bullet wound he received at Sharpsburg.

              Mark
              Deo Vindice
              Thanks. I had been meaning to get an avatar of Gordon, but I couldn't find one so I finally made my own. And I had noticed he was always sideways in his portraits, but didn't put think that it was related to his wounds.
              "Anything worth fighting for is worth fighting dirty for"
              "The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step, and a lot of bitching"

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              • #8
                A UK perspective - the first name anyone will say if you ask them about the "Wild West" over here is Billy the Kid.

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                • #9
                  I would really have to qualify my answer. You do not mention for what time period, now or in their own time period.

                  While he was still alive I would have to say Buffalo Bill Cody. This is because he more so than any other name listed was in the business of promoting himself. His "Wild West Show" was witnessed by an enormous number of people. His fans crossed all parts of the population. Even the poorest person could probably afford to have seen the show at least once and at the other extreme he performed for royalty. He would have had the renown in his own time equivalent to a modern day rock star or top athelete.

                  If the question is who is the most famous NOW it would be a different answer. For that I would have to say its a close race between Jesse James, Billy "the Kid" and Wyatt Earp. All three men's myth has become far larger than anything they actually did in their lives. They have all become staples of Hollywood to the point fact/myth has been blurred so much it is often difficult to separate the two.

                  James I guess because of the "robinhood" image of him fighting for the small farmers against the corporate railroads, "the Kid" because he was so young and Earp simply because he off all gunfighters lived to an old age, long enough to tell a youthful Hollywood his own version of the events.
                  Lance W.

                  Peace through superior firepower.

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                  • #10
                    Wyatt Earp

                    I have read different books on Wyatt Earp and each writer has given different opnioins on him. Some say he was a good man trying to do his part for justice. Others say he was a man out for making a profit for his own good, using the law as a cover story. Now it is hard to really get the truth as much of his time has so much myth in it. I myself believe Wyatt Earp had a lil bit of both in him. Bringing the Yin yang doohickey into life.
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                    • #11
                      I believe the cattlemen like Oliver Loving (who McMurty based the character Gus McCrae on) and Charles Goodnight (Captain Call) were responsible for the taming of the west. They worked and lived in well beyond the frontier for many years, and made it suitable for settlement.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by *********
                        Wiliam Cody - hands down .... the 'Elvis' of the 19th Century...
                        BUFFALO BILL CODY PRACTICALLY SINGLE HANDEDLY SAVED THE BUFFALO, AND WITH HIS WILD WEST SHOW SHOWED ORDINARY FOLKS WHAT THE WILD WEST WAS LIKE THEREFORE HE SHOULD BE THE MOST NOTEABLE
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                        • #13
                          Bill COdy was nothing more than a modern day sales man
                          Govenour Of Texas and all southern provinces. Kepper Of The Holy Woodchipper.

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                          • #14
                            It's certainly a close call. I have to go with Wyatt Earp. His name is associated with two of the most legendary old west towns: Dodge City and Tombstone. The Gunfight at the OK Corral is probably the single most famous event in the Old West. I'm not sure, but I think Wyatt Earp has probably been portrayed by more actors in more movies and TV shows (including Star Trek!) than any other western legend.
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