A Brief History
On August 14, 1851, John Henry Holliday was born in Griffin, Georgia. He would grow up to become a legend of the Wild West as “Doc” Holliday, a dentist turned gambler, gunman, and friend of Wyatt Earp.
A participant in the most famous Western gunfight, Holliday was the son of a veteran of the Mexican American War and the US Civil War. His mother and brother both died of tuberculosis, a disease that would eventually take his life.
Doc got his nickname when he graduated from the Pennsylvania College of Dental Surgery and became a dentist. He soon began getting in trouble with fighting and took up gambling as he went West, hooking up with prostitute Big Nose Kate.
Holliday became friends with lawman Wyatt Earp and took part in the 1881 gunfight at the OK Corral. A veteran of numerous gunfights, Holliday is rumored to have killed Johnny Ringo in 1882, before finally dying of TB in Colorado in 1887.
Question for students (and subscribers): Who was the best movie Doc Holliday: Val Kilmer, Dennis Quaid, Jason Robards, Stacy Keach, or Kirk Douglas? Anyone else? Please let us know in the comments section below this article.
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For more information, please see…
Roberts, Gary. Doc Holliday: The Life and Legend. Wiley, 2007.
Wilcox, Victoria. The World of Doc Holliday: History and Historic Images. TwoDot, 2020.
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