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Wyatt Berry Stapp Earp (March 19, 1848 – January 13, 1929) was an American Old West gambler, a deputy sheriff in Pima County, and deputy town marshal in Tombstone, Arizona Territory, who took part in the gunfight at the O.K. Corral, during which lawmen killed three outlaw cowboys. He is often regarded as the central figure in the shootout in Tombstone, although his brother Virgil was Tombstone city marshal and Deputy U.S. Marshal that day, and had far more experience as a sheriff, constable, marshal, and soldier in combat.
Earp lived a restless life. He was at different times a constable, city policeman, county sheriff, Deputy U.S. Marshal, teamster, buffalo hunter, bouncer, saloon-keeper, gambler, brothel keeper, miner, and boxing referee. Earp spent his early life in Iowa. In 1870, Earp married his first wife, Urilla Sutherland Earp, who contracted typhoid fever and died shortly before their first child was to be born. During the next two years Earp was arrested for stealing a horse, escaped from jail, sued twice, and was arrested and fined three times during the course of 1872 for "keeping and being found in a house of ill-fame". His third arrest was subject of a lengthy account in the "Daily Transcript" which referred to him as an "old offender" and nicknamed him the "Peoria Bummer."
By 1874 he had arrived in the cattle boomtown of Wichita, Kansas where his brother had opened a brothel. On April 21, 1875 he was appointed to the Wichita police force, and developed a solid reputation as a lawman. In April 1876 he was dismissed from his position as a lawman following an altercation with a political opponent of his boss which led to him being fined $30. In 1876, he followed his brother James to Dodge City, Kansas, where he became an assistant city marshal. In winter 1878, he went to Texas to track down an outlaw and met John "Doc" Holliday, whom Earp later credited with saving his life.
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