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FAMOUS GUNFIGHTER - BILLY THE KID - 1859 - 1881

This is the only indisputable photo of Billy the Kid and is said to be taken in January 1880 in front of Beaver Smith’s saloon gambling hall in Fort Sumner, New Mexico Territory. Billy the Kid also known by the aliases Henry Antrim and William H. Bonney was a 19th-century American frontier outlaw and gunman. He was relatively unknown during his own lifetime but became a legend a year after his death when his killer, Sheriff Patrick Garrett published a biography titled The Authentic Life of Billy the Kid. According to legend Billy the Kid killed 21 men, one for each year of his life but he most likely killed fewer than half that number.

While Billy the Kid was right-handed it was widely assumed that he was left-handed. This belief stemmed from the fact that the only known photograph at that time showed him with a Winchester rifle in his right hand and a gun belt with a holster on his left side where a left-handed person would typically wear a pistol. The belief became so entrenched that in 1958 a biographical film was made about Billy the Kid called The Left Handed Gun starring Paul Newman. In 1986 the original photo came to light and showed that the first one that was found was the same photo but actually a reverse tintype image. This led to the myth that Kid was left handed.
 

FAMOUS GUNFIGHTER - BILLY THE KID - 1859 - 1881






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