Annie Oakley: The Wild West's Sharpest Shooter

Annie Oakley: The Wild West's Sharpest Shooter

An account of the Wild West wouldn't be complete without mention of the legendary sharpshooter, Annie Oakley. Born Phoebe Ann Moses on August 13, 1860, she gained fame as Annie Oakley for her unparalleled shooting skills. In 1875, famed marksman Frank Butler rolled into Cincinnati and put $100 on the line for anyone who could outshoot him. A 15-year-old Oakley stepped up to the challenge, and beat Butler. It was around that same age that Oakley paid off the mortgage for her mother's home by shooting small game for a local grocery store.

Less than a year later, the two got married. Later, Oakley became the star of Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show, and remained its main attraction for 17 years. Watch the videos below to learn more about this amazing woman, and to even see real footage of Oakley's skill.

The Legendary Sharpshooter Annie Oakley

She was truly way more kick-butt than you may realize.


Key Facts In This Video

  • 1

    Annie Oakley was able to pay off her family's mortgage by the time she was 15 just by using her shooting skills. (0:31)

  • 2

    Annie Oakley's husband, Frank Butler, died three weeks after Annie did in 1926. (2:38)

  • 3

    Annie Oakley offered twice to train female sharpshooters for the United States military—but they turned her down. (3:01)

Real Footage of Annie Oakley Shooting

Watch the master at work.


from Library of Congress

Women Of The Wild West Documentary

For a more in-depth look at Oakley and the women of the Wild West, here's a documentary.

A Short Biography Of Annie Oakley

Learn about the highlights of her life.

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