He was one of the best gunslingers in the Wild West who became famous after an article in Harper’s New Monthly Magazine described how he shot and killed three men who tried to kill him.  And way too often he got tested by other men who wanted to see just how good he was.  Time and again Wild Bill Hickok came out on top.

He was so good with a gun he was offered and accepted the position of sheriff of Abilene,  Texas.  But after accidentally killing a deputy, Hickok never fought another gun battle. 
He joined Buffalo Bill Cody’s Wild West Show demonstrating his shooting skills and worked as a hunting guide.

But it was on this day in 1876, with his back to the door, Wild Bill Hickok was shot and killed by a man who approached from behind while playing poker in a saloon in Deadwood, South Dakota.  The gunman tried to shoot others at the table, but all of the other bullets in his gun were duds.  The man was later hanged.

When he was shot, Hickok was holding a pair of black aces and a pair of black eights.  If you ever get that combination in a poker hand – it’s known as the Dead Man’s Hand.

A scene from the HBO Series "Deadwood" depicts the killing of Hickok with a slightly different interpretation of history.  Beware of some colorful language.

SOURCE: History Channel