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Bat Masterson
Original name: William Barclay Masterson
Birth: Nov. 24, 1854
Quebec, Canada
Death: Oct. 25, 1921
New York
New York County (Manhattan)
New York, USA

Sports columnist, American western folk person. Newspaper and magazine articles, novels, biographies, motion pictures and television dramas, most classified as fiction, have defined Bat Materson as a leading western figure. However; a second career, late in life was more meaningful. Bat achieved fame the last 20 years of his life as a boxing authority and a newspaper columnist in New York City far away from the wild west. His birthplace is a toss up between Quebec, Canada or an unknown farm in Illinois. He was born William Barclay Masterson the second of five children. His youth was spent on various farms in the midwest and his education consisted of a basic frontier education...reading, writing and arithmetic, garnished from a series of one room schools. He ventured from the family farm in Kansas in his late teens becoming a buffalo hunter. Familiarity of the territory led him to the Army as a scout who were then waring against the Kiowa and Comanche Indians. From his first gunfight in Sweetwater, Texas where he killed his opponent but sustained a pelvis injury which necessitated utilizing a cane for the rest of his life gaining him the moniker "Bat" as he often used it on future antagonists. He became a deputy under Marshal Wyatt Earp at Dodge City, Kansas, which led to election as County Sheriff of Ford County but was voted out of office. He began making a living as a gambler working various towns in the old west including Tombstone where Wyatt Earp had relocated and was now Marshall. He had another try at law and order becoming Marshal of Trinidad, Colorado. Denver soon beckoned and with the purchase of the Palace Variety Theater came marriage to a performer, Emma Walters. Bat loved boxing and he was again traveling the boomtowns of the west, gambling while promoting prize fights. His writing career came into being while penning a weekly sports column for a Denver newspaper. He opened a boxing athletic club which became a venue for his arranged boxing matches. Disenchanted with Denver, Bat relocated to New York City and found a home becoming enamored with its sporting and theatrical district, its fine restaurants, hotels and especially the night life. He made the transition from the western frontier to become a metropolitan newspaperman and a prize ring pundit. The New York Morning Telegraph hired Masterson as a sportswriter, then a columnist and finally its sports editor. Three times a week, for 18 years, his column entitled "Masterson's Views on Timely Topics" appeared. Befriended by Damon Runyon who then further immortalized him by featuring him in his popular short stories series where Broadway characters, gangsters, chorus girls, gamblers and bookies came to life. This collection became the masterpiece of the American musical theatre, "Guys and Dolls" and later became a motion picture. Magazine writer Alfred Henry Lewis further popularized the Masterson legend with many excellent articles which appeared in national magazines and led to the novel about Bat, "Sunset Trail". He had a special friendship with President Theodore Roosevelt bonded by their mutual love of prizefighting and became a frequent guest at the Whitehouse which culminated in an appointment by the President to the post deputy U.S. marshal for the southern district of New York. He not only promoted boxing matches but was a referee. He had been convalescing at home from a severe head cold. Upon his first day back to work at the New York Morning Telegraph, he sat and worked at his desk writing his column. When it was finished, he was seized by a heart attack and collapsed over his desk. Bat Masterson was gone at age 67. His body was taken to Campbells, the famous New York funeral parlor where a simple service was held in their chapel with burial following in famous Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx. His large upright marker is emblazoned with the epitaph: "Loved by Everyone." (bio by: Donald Greyfield (inactive)) 
 
Family links: 
 Parents:
  Thomas M. Masterson (1827 - 1921)
  Catherine U Mcgurk Masterson (1832 - 1908)
 
 Siblings:
  Nellie E. Masterson Cairns (____ - 1925)*
  Edward J. Masterson (1852 - 1878)*
  Bat Masterson (1854 - 1921)
  James Masterson (1855 - 1895)*
  Thomas Masterson (1858 - 1941)*
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Burial:
Woodlawn Cemetery
Bronx
Bronx County
New York, USA
Plot: Primrose Section, Lot 185
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Record added: Jan 01, 2001
Find A Grave Memorial# 683
Bat Masterson
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Bat Masterson
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Bat Masterson
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