James Butler Hickok
(May 27, 1837 -- August 2, 1876)
was a folk hero of the American Old West. His skills as a gunfighter and scout, along with his reputation as a lawman, provided the basis for his fame, although some of his exploits are fictionalized.
Hickok came to the West as a stagecoach driver, then became a lawman in the frontier territories of Kansas and Nebraska. He fought for the Union Army during the American Civil War, and gained publicity after the war as a scout, marksman, actor, and professional gambler. Between his law-enforcement duties and gambling, which easily overlapped, Hickok was involved in several notable shootouts. He was shot and killed while playing poker in the Number Ten Saloon in Deadwood, Dakota Territory (now South Dakota).