Famous Cowboys and Cowboy Names

(To be more precise, Famous Cowboys and Cowgirls, i.e., Cowpeople)

Legends of the Old West

(Also see Western Movie Stars and Western Characters of Film and TV)


The following list (in alphabetical order of first name) is of 73 actual personalities of the Old West.  Not included are the many lesser lawmen, outlaws, gunfighters and cowboys.  Also not included are eastern pioneers, such as Daniel Boone, because they belong to, shall we say, the Old East.  The source for much information here is from Legends of America and various Wikipedia entries.


(Visit my page Academy Awards for Best Actor and Academy Awards for Best Picture.)


Sorted by Popular First Name

Image

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Popular Name

(or sort by last name)

Birth Name

Born - Died

(or sort by 'Born' or 'Died' year)

Claim to Fame

Cause of Death

Annie Oakley

Annie Oakley

Phoebe Ann Oakley Moses

August 13, 1860

November 3, 1926

Sharpshooter and exhibition shooter; starred in Buffalo Bill's Wild West show

pernicious anemia

Arkansas Tom Jones

Arkansas Tom Jones

Roy Daugherty

January 1, 1870

August 16, 1924

Outlaw and a member of the Wild Bunch gang

killed during a gunfight

"Bat" Masterson

"Bat" Masterson

William Barclay Masterson

November 27, 1853

October 25, 1921

Gunfighter, gambler, sheriff's deputy alongside Wyatt Earp, newspaper columnist

heart attack

Belle Starr

Belle Starr


(The Bandit Queen)

Myra Belle Shirley Reed Starr

February 5, 1848

February 3, 1889

Rustling, horse stealing, bootlegging whiskey

shot from ambush

"Big Jim" Courtright

"Big Jim" Courtright


(Tim Isaiah)

Timothy Isaiah Courtright

1848

February 8, 1887

Lawman, outlaw and gunfighter

shot in a gunfight

Bill Doolin

Bill Doolin

William Doolin

1858

August 24, 1896

Bandit, founder of the Wild Bunch gang

shot by US Marshall Heck Thomas

Bill Pickett

Bill Pickett


(The Bull-Dogger)

William Pickett

December 5, 1870

April 2, 1932

Rodeo cowboy; introduced bulldogging

kicked in the head by a horse

Bill Tilghman

Bill Tilghman

William Matthew Pickett

July 4, 1854

November 1, 1924

Deputy sheriff, gunfighter, saloon owner

shot by a corrupt prohibition agent

Billy the Kid

Billy the Kid

William Henry McCarty (Aka: Henry Antrim, William H. Bonney)

said to be 1859

July 14, 1881

Outlaw, gunfighter, member of the Regulators gang

shot by Pat Garrett

Black Bart

Black Bart

Charles E. Boles (Also Bolles)

1829

February 28, 1888

Good-mannered stage coach robber

unknown, last seen February 28, 1888

“Black Jack” Ketchum

“Black Jack” Ketchum

Thomas Edward Ketchum

October 31, 1863

April 26, 1901

Cowboy turned robber, member of Hole in the Wall gang

hanged January 28, 1888

Blue Duck

Blue Duck

Sha-con-gah (Cherokee)

1858

1895

Outlaw and boyfriend of Belle Starr

tuberculosis

Bob Dalton

Bob Dalton

Robert Rennick Dalton

1869

October 5, 1892

Train and bank robber  (1)

shot during a bank robbery

Bob Ford

Bob Ford

Robert Newton "Bob" Ford

January 31, 1862

June 8, 1892

Outlaw; the man who shot Jesse James

shotgun blast to the chest

Bob Younger

Bob Younger

Robert Ewing Younger

October 29, 1853

September 16, 1889

Train and bank robber  (2)

tuberculosis in prison

Bose Ikard

Bose Ikard

Bose Ikard

July, 1847

January 4, 1929

Cowboy, helped in opening up the Goodnight Loving Trail

?

Buffalo Bill

Buffalo Bill

William Frederick Cody

February 26, 1846

January 10, 1917

Organized Buffalo Bill's Wild West, an outdoor extravaganza

kidney failure

Butch Cassidy

Butch Cassidy

Robert LeRoy Parker

April 13, 1866

November 6, 1909

Robber; member of the Wild Bunch gang

suicide while surrounded and trapped

Calamity Jane

Calamity Jane

Martha Jane Cannary

May 1, 1852

August 1, 1903

Sharpshooter, prospector, rowdy prostitute, gambler, heavy drinker

alcoholism

Captain Bill McDonald

Captain Bill McDonald

Charles Goodnight

September 28, 1852

January 15, 1918

A Texas Ranger who served briefly as a bodyguard for both U.S. Presidents Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson

pneumonia

Charles Goodnight

Charles Goodnight

Charles Goodnight

March 5, 1836

December 12, 1929

Cattle-driver; founded the Goodnight-Loving Trail; invented the chuck wagon

old age

Charlie Siringo

Charlie Siringo

Charles Angelo Siringo

February 7, 1855

October 18, 1928

Lawman, detective, and agent for the Pinkerton National Detective Agency

bronchitis

Chris Madsen

Chris Madsen

Christian "Chris" Madsen

December 25, 1851

January 9, 1944

Danish born gunfighter; U.S. Deputy Marshal in Oklahoma; member of the Three Guardsmen crimefighers

old age

Clark Floss

Clark Foss


"Old Floss"

"Old Chieftain"

Clark Floss

1825

August, 1885

Renowned stage driver and stage station owner

old age

Clay Allison

Clay Allison

Robert Clay Allison

September 2, 1840

July 3, 1887

Ruthless killer, gunfighter

broken neck from accident

Cole Younger

Cole Younger

Thomas Coleman Younger

January 15, 1844

March 21, 1916

Train and bank robber; lectured and toured with Frank James in a wild west show  (2)

old age

Connie Douglas Reeves

Connie Douglas Reeves

Connie Douglas

Septenber 26, 1901

August 17, 2003

Cowgirl who taught thousands of girls how to ride horses at Texas's Camp Waldemar

thrown from a horse at age 101

"Curly Bill" Brocius

"Curly Bill" Brocius

William "Curly Bill" Brocius

1845

March 24, 1882

Gunman, rustler and outlaw cowboy

killed by Wyatt Earp

Deadwood Dick

Deadwood Dick

Nat Love

June 14, 1854

1921

Cowboy; won every competition and $200 prize at July 4, 1876 Deadwood cowboy contest

?

Doc Holliday

Doc Holliday

John Henry Holliday

August 14, 1851

November 8, 1887

Dentist, gambler, and gunfighter; at the O.K. Corral gunfight

consumption (tuberculosis)

Dutch Henry

Dutch Henry

Henry Borne

July 2, 1849

January 10, 1921

Horse thief

pneumonia

Elfego Baca

Elfego Baca

Elfego Baca

February 10, 1865

August 27, 1945

Lawman, lawyer, and politician; "Frisco Shootout" incident where Elfego faced 80 men firing 4,000 shots at the home where he was cornered

old age

Ella Watson

Ella Watson


"Cattle Kate"

Ellen Liddy Watson

July 2, 1861

July 20, 1889

Pioneer of Wyoming, accused of cattle rustling by powerful cattlemen

hanged

Emmett Dalton

Emmett Dalton

Emmett Dalton

1871

July 13, 1937

Train and bank robber, real estate agent, author and actor  (1)

fatal illness

Frank Canton

Frank Canton

Josiah Horner

September 15, 1849

September 27, 1927

Lawman, gunslinger, cowboy and at one point in his life, an outlaw

old age

Frank Eaton

Frank Eaton

Frank Boardman "Pistol Pete" Eaton

October 26, 1860

April 8, 1958

Author, cowboy, scout, Indian fighter, and Deputy U. S. Marshal

old age

Frank James

Frank James

Alexander Frank James

January 10, 1843

February 18, 1915

Bank robber; rode with William Quantrill's raiders; later shoe salesman

heart Failure

George McJunkin

George McJunkin

George McJunkin

1851

January 21, 1922

Cowboy, amateur archaeologist and historian

old age

Grat Dalton

Grat Dalton

Gratton Hanley Dalton

1861

October 5, 1892

Train, bank robber  (1)

shot during a bank robbery

Heck Thomas

Heck Thomas

Henry A. Thomas

January 3, 1850

August 15, 1912

Peace officer, tracked down and killed outlaw Bill Doolin

Bright's disease

Ike Clanton

Ike Clanton

Joseph Isaac Clanton

1847

June 1, 1887

Cattle rustler; involved in the Gunfight at the OK Corral

shot dead resisting arrest

Jedediah Smith

Jedediah Smith

Jedediah Strong Smith

January 6, 1799

May 27, 1831

Hunter, trapper, fur trader and explorer of the American West Coast

killed by Comanche Indians

Jesse Chisholm

Jesse Chisholm

Jesse Chisholm

1806

March 4, 1868

Indian trader, guide, and interpreter; namesake to the Chisholm Trail

died of food poisoning

Jesse James

Jesse James

Jesse Woodson James

September 5, 1847

April 3, 1882

Bank and train robber, killer; member of outlaw Clement gang

shot from the back by Robert Ford

Jim Younger

Jim Younger

James Hardin Younger

January 15, 1848

October 19, 1902

Rancher, train and bank robber  (2)

committed suicide

John Simpson Chisum

John Chisum

John Simpson Chisum

August 15, 1824

December 23, 1884

Cattle baron

throat cancer

John Ware

John Ware

John Ware

1845 ?

September 12, 1905

Remembered for his ability to ride and train horses

killed in the fall when his horse tripped

John Wesley Hardin

John Wesley Hardin

John Wesley Hardin

May 26, 1853

August 19, 1895

Gunfighter, killer; claimed to have killed 44 men

shot in the back by lawman John Selman

John Younger

John Younger

John Harrison Younger

1851

March 17, 1874

Train and bank robber, killer  (2)

shot in the neck

Johnny Ringo

Johnny Ringo

John Peters Ringo

May 3, 1850

July 13, 1882

Robber, killer; member of Clanton gang

gun shot suicide

Kid Curry

Kid Curry

Harvey Logan

in 1867

June 17, 1904

Outlaw, gunman, "wildest of the Wild Bunch"

suicide during gun battle

John Bozeman

John Bozeman

John Merin Bozeman

January 1835

April 20, 1867

Pathfinder of the Bozeman Trail and founder of Bozeman, MT

murdered while traveling along the Yellowstone River

King Fisher

King Fisher

John King Fisher

1854

March 11, 1884

Gunfighter, gang leader, rancher

shot as he leapt from a theater balcony

Kit Carson

Kit Carson

Christopher Houston Carson

December 24, 1809

May 23, 1868

Scout, trapper; much involved with Indian affairs

aortic aneurysm

Luke Short

Luke Short

Luke L. Short

1854

September 8, 1893

Noted gunfighter, who had worked as a farmer, cowboy, whiskey peddler, army scout, dispatch rider, gambler and saloon keeper

congestive heart failure

Nate Champion

Nate Champion

Nate D. Champion

September 29, 1857

April 9, 1892

Small rancher, falsely accused rustler.

killed while being fighting off vigilantes

Oliver Loving

Oliver Loving

Oliver Loving

December 4, 1812

September 25, 1867

First cattledriver; founded the Goodnight-Loving Trail; "The Dean of Texas Trail Drivers"

gangrene from a battle wound

Pat Garrett

Pat Garrett

Patrick Floyd Garrett

June 5, 1850

February 28, 1908

Sheriff in New Mexico, bartender, and customs agent; killed Billy the Kid

shot during an argument

Pawnee Bill

Pawnee Bill

Gordon William Lillie

February 14, 1860

February 3, 1942

Showman, created the Wild West show: "Pawnee Bill's Historic Wild West"; later joined with "Buffalo Bill" Cody

died in his sleep

 Perry Owens

Perry Owens

Commodore Perry Owens

July 29, 1852

May 10, 1919

Arizona lawman and gunfighter

Bright's disease

Richard King

Richard King

Richard King

July 10, 1824

April 14, 1885

Riverboat captain, entrepreneur and founder of the King Ranch

stomach cancer

Sam Bass

Sam Bass

Sam Bass

July 21, 1851

July 21, 1878

Train robber

gun shot wounds

Mary Fields

Stagecoach Mary

Mary Fields

circa 1832

1914

Mail carrier, driving a mail route by stagecoach in Montana

liver failure

Sundance Kid, the

Sundance Kid, the

Harry Alonzo Longabaugh

Spring, 1867

November 6, 1909

Robber; member of the Wild Bunch gang

suicide while surrounded and trapped

Texas Jack

Texas Jack

John Baker Omohundro

July 26, 1846

June 28, 1880

Frontier scout, actor, and cowboy; first performer to do roping acts on stage

pneumonia

"Texas Jack" Vermillion

"Texas Jack" Vermillion

John Wilson Vermillion

1842

1911

Gunfighter, soldier, lawman, outlaw, Methodist preacher; participated in the Earp vendetta ride

died peacefully in his sleep

"Texas John" Slaughter

"Texas John" Slaughter

John Slaughter

October 2, 1841

February 16, 1922

Civil War veteran, trail-driver, cattleman, Texas Ranger, sheriff, gambler, and state representative

stroke

Tom Horn

Tom Horn

Tom Horn (Aka: James Hicks)

November 21, 1860

November 20, 1903

Lawman, scout, soldier, hired gunman, detective, outlaw and assassin

hanged

Wild Bill Hickok

Wild Bill Hickok

James Butler Hickok

May 27, 1837

August 2, 1876

Marksman, professional gambler, gunfighter, scout, lawman

shot in the back of the head

Will Rogers

Will Rogers

William Penn Adair Rogers

November 7, 1879

August 5, 1935

Humorist, social commentator, vaudeville performer, actor, newspaper columnist

plane crash over Alaska

William Longley

William Longley

William Preston Longley

October 6, 1851

October 11, 1878

Outlaw, ruthless and ill-tempered gunfighter; killed at least 32 people

hanged

Wyatt Earp

Wyatt Earp

Wyatt Berry Stapp Earp

March 19, 1848

January 13, 1929

Lawman, gambler; in gunfight at the O.K. Corral, Tombstone, Arizona

natural causes

  Note 1:  Dalton brothers gang included George "Bitter Creek" Newcomb, "Blackfaced" Charlie Bryant, Bill Doolin, Dick Broadwell, and Bill Powers.

  Note 2:  The Younger gang included Clell Miller, Arthur McCoy, Charlie Pitts, John Jarrette, and Bill Chadwell.