Who Are Some Famous Old West Outlaws?


Quick Answer

Some famous Old West outlaws include Jesse and Frank James, Robert Leroy Parker, Harry Longabaugh and Billy the Kid. The James Younger Gang and the Dalton Gang are famous bands of outlaws from the Old West.

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Full Answer

Following the end of the Civil War, Jesse and Frank James earned money robbing banks, trains and stagecoaches. Although Jesse James is often romanticized as someone who robbed the wealthy to provide for the less fortunate, this isn't historically accurate. A member of Jesse James' own gang murdered him for money in 1882.

Robert Leroy Parker, or "Butch Cassidy" as he was known, partnered with Harry Longabaugh, also called the "Sundance Kid." They started a gang called the Wild Bunch that robbed trains and banks. Robert Leroy Parker and Harry Longabaugh were the subjects of a popular 1969 film, "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid."

William Henry McCarty, or "Billy the Kid," was born in New York, but moved west and joined a band of outlaws, earning a reputation for his thieving and gunslinging skills. He was sentenced to death for the murder of a sheriff, but he managed to kill the guards and escape in 1881. That same year, a sheriff named Patrick Garrett hunted him down and killed him.

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