Wyatt Earp (1955-73)

Wyatt Earp: Frontier Marshal (1931) was a best-selling but largely fictional biography of Wyatt Earp written by Stuart N. Lake and published by Houghton Mifflin Company. It was the first biography of Earp, supposedly written with his input. It established the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral in the public consciousness and concocted a story about Wyatt Earp as a fearless lawman in the American Old West. Earp and his wife Josephine Earp tried to persuade Lake to leave her and Earp's second wife out of the book, even threatening legal action. When the book was published, neither woman was mentioned.

Lake's biography was adapted as the basis for at least three movies—Frontier Marshall, made in 1934; Frontier Marshall, made in 1939; and My Darling Clementine (1946). The 1955 television series, The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp, was also based on his book; its success made Lake into one of the first television moguls. A number of writers and researchers have been unable to document many of the stories found in the book, and it is now considered "highly imaginative" and "largely fictional".


Wyatt Earp #17

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