- NAME: Annie Oakley
- OCCUPATION: Folk Hero
- BIRTH DATE: August 13, 1860
- DEATH DATE: November 03, 1926
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Darke County, Ohio
- PLACE OF DEATH: Greenville, Ohio
- Maiden Name: Phoebe Ann Moses
- AKA: Phoebe Moses
- AKA: Annie Oakley
- AKA: Phoebe Mosey
- AKA: Phoebe Ann Mosey
- AKA: Mrs. Frank Butler
- Nickname: Watanya Cecilia
- Nickname: "Little Sure Shot"
- Nickname: Watanya Cecilla
Best Known For
Annie Oakley was a renowned markswoman and star who worked for years with Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show.
Annie Oakley - Tomboy (1:57)
Annie Oakley - The Great War (1:36)
While other girls her age were inside learning to sew, young Annie Oakley was outside shooting small game and loving it.
During the onset of World War I, Annie Oakley wanted to help and trained the soldiers in marksmanship.
Annie Oakley never thought one of her rivals, Frank Butler, would win her heart.
As word of Annie Oakley's exploits with a rifle spread, she traveled the world and met with Kings and Queens.
Think you know about Biography?
Answer questions and see how you rank against other players.Play Now
Born Phoebe Ann Moses (or Mosey) on August 13, 1860, in Darke County, Ohio, the woman who would be known as Annie Oakley developed her superb marksmanship abilities as a teen, earning enough to pay off the mortgage for her mother's home. She married fellow marksman Frank Butler in 1876 and would later become a star attraction for Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show for years, renowned for unparalleled shooting tricks. A revered global figure,
"Aim at a high mark and you will hit it. No, not the first time, nor the second and maybe not the third. But keep on aiming and keep on shooting for only practice will make you perfect. Finally, you'll hit the Bull's Eye of Success."
"I was eight years old when I made my first shot, and I still consider it one of the best shots I ever made."
"I've made a good deal of money in my time, but I never believe in wasting a dollar of it."
Oakley retired in 1913 and died in Ohio on November 3, 1926.
Annie Oakley was born Phoebe Ann Moses (or as some sources say, Mosey) on August 13, 1860, in Darke County, Ohio. She is remembered as one of the leading women of the American West.
Both Moses's father and stepfather died when she was a child and she went to live at the Darke County Infirmary, where she received schooling and sewing instruction while helping in the care of orphaned children. She returned to living with her mother and her second stepfather in her early teens, where she was able to help the family by hunting game for a grocery store. She earned so much from her skills that by the time she was 15, Moses was able to pay off the mortgage for her mother's home.
After beating him in a 1875 Thanksgiving shooting competition, the following year, Moses married Frank E. Butler, a top shooter and vaudeville performer. The two embarked on a long, fruitful union that would last more than half a century. They began working together professionally in 1882, after Butler's male partner fell ill and Moses took his place. She took on the stage name of Oakley, believed to be taken from a Cincinnati locale.
Annie Oakley met Native-American leader Sitting Bull in 1884, and he was so impressed with her manner and abilities that he "adopted" her and bestowed upon her the additional name "Little Sure Shot." Oakley and Butler then joined Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show in 1885. The couple toured with the show for more than a decade and a half, with Oakley receiving the spotlight and top billing while Butler worked as her manager, assisting Oakley with her stunning displays of marksmanship.
Audiences were wowed. 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. She would also shoot holes through cards thrown into the air before they landed, inspiring the practice of punching holes in a free event ticket being referred to as an "Annie Oakley." Oakley even entertained such royals as Queen Victoria and Kaiser Wilhelm II—and shot a cigarette out of his mouth.
After Oakley and Butler were in a railroad accident in 1901, she was partially paralyzed for a time, yet she recovered and continued to perform. She did stage work in the 1903 melodrama The Western Girl and joined the Young Buffalo Show in 1911. Oakley and Butler retired in 1913, settling in Cambridge, Maryland, and adopting a dog, Dave, who would become part of their later shows.
profile name: Annie Oakley profile occupation:
Sign in with Facebook to see how you and your friends are connected to famous icons.
Your Friends' Connections
Included In These Groups
The Wild West holds a special place in American history—Western films depict it as a place where the rules didn't apply, and where scores were settled with gun slinging and shootouts. The colorful characters who made up the old West were men, women, cowboys, Indians, sheriffs just plain outlaws. Though we've come to have a more nuanced understanding of the good and the bad of the old West, we can still learn from the stories of the people who made it and who wrote about what it was.
Wild West 24 people in this group
Despite all sorts of institutional obstacles, women have continued to reach stratospheric levels of success in a full gamut of professional pursuits, whether as scientists, scribes, educators, governmental leaders, athletes, designers, film directors or performers. Learn more about the plethora of triumphs obtained by our group of trailblazers.
Visit Biography.com's Women's History group to explore more biographies, photos and videos of some the world's most fascinating women.
Groundbreaking Women 71 people in this group
Famous Leos 558 people in this group