Masterson, William

Masterson, (William Barclay) “Bat”

(1853–1921) law enforcer, sports journalist; born in Iroquois County, Ill. Moving to Kansas with his family at age 17, he engaged in the activities of frontier youths—hunted buffalo, fought the Indians, served as an army scout—until in 1876 he became a deputy marshal at Dodge City, Kansas. For the next quarter century he was one of the most famous of the frontier law enforcers, from Deadwood, S.D., to Tombstone, Ariz., associated at one point with Wyatt Earp. Masterson himself was a gambler and a boxing enthusiast, and in 1902 he went to New York City to be a sports writer for the New York Morning Telegraph. President Theodore Roosevelt admired Masterson and appointed him a federal deputy marshal (1905–07) but he resigned to concentrate on journalism, eventually becoming sports editor of the Telegraph. Hollywood movies would later make him into an American legend.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.
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