Annie Oakley was an American folk hero and performer who is known for her marksmanship. She was born in Ohio as Phoebe Ann Moses in 1860 and took up sharpshooting as a teenager to earn money after her father's death. By the time she was 15 years old, Annie had paid off her family's mortgage with her performances.Continue Reading
Annie married a vaudeville performer and fellow marksman named Frank Butler in 1875 after allegedly beating him in a shooting competition. They joined Buffalo Bill's Wild West show and began performing together in 1885, where she adopted the stage name of Annie Oakley. Oakley was given the nickname of "Watanya Cicilla" by fellow performer Sitting Bull, rendered "Little Sure Shot" in public advertisements. Annie gained tremendous fame for being able to shoot holes in cards before they landed and performed for royalty such as Queen Victoria and Kaiser Wilhelm II. She famously shot a cigarette out of the Kaiser's mouth during a performance before retiring in 1913.
Annie Oakley dedicated her life to teaching women to shoot, supporting the American Red Cross and giving to orphanages. Annie and her husband both suffered a train accident and a car accident during their 50-year marriage before she died in 1926.Learn more about US History