Annie Oakley Biography

Born Phoebe Anne Moses 
( 1860 – 1926 ) 
Sharpshooter, entertainer. Born on August 13, 1860, in Darke County, Ohio. Annie Oakley is remembered as one of the leading women of the American West, especially known for her talent with a gun. She originally began shooting as a means of helping out her family. This skill turned out to be quite lucrative—she earned more than she could have imagined performing shooting tricks. After beating him in a shooting competition, Annie Oakley married Frank E. Butler, a top shooter and vaudeville performer. The couple started working together with Butler assisting Oakley with her stunning displays of marksmanship.

Annie Oakley became one of the top acts in Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show in 1885. The couple toured with the show for years, and audiences were wowed by her abilities. She could shoot off the end of a cigarette held in her husband's lips, hit the thin edge of a playing card from 30 paces, and shoot distant targets while looking into a mirror. Oakley even entertained such royals as Queen Victoria and Kraiser Wilhelm II—and shot a cigarette out of his mouth. Not even a railroad accident in 1901 could slow her down for long. Despite being partially paralyzed, Oakley kept on delighting crowds with her tricks.
After retiring with her husband in the 1910s, Annie Oakley stepped out of the spotlight and pursued such hobbies as hunting and fishing. She died on November 3, 1926. The news of her death saddened the nation and brought forth a wave of tributes. Part of her lasting legacy is the Irving Berlin musical Annie Get Your Gun (1946) based on her life story.