Annie Oakley was born on the 13th August 1860 in Darke County, Ohio, United States of America and is widely regarded as one of the best women sharpshooters in history. She started shooting at 8-years-old but did not gain popularity until she was 15 when she defeated well-known marksman, Frank E. Butler (who she went on to marry in 1876), at the age of 15. Both Annie and Frank joined Buffalo Bill’s Wild West touring show and her popularity grew from there.
There is footage of a 34-year-old Annie Oakley shooting glass balls in a production by Thomas Edison’s company called The “Little Sure Shot of the Wild West,” an exhibition of rifle shooting at glass balls, etc. It was filmed in 1894 on a Kinetoscope. Despite living until 1929, this is the only known footage of Annie Oakley showing off her shooting prowess.
Oakley continued to shoot her whole life. She was breaking records during the final decade of her life. She also campaigned for women’s rights during the 1920s. On the 3rd November 1925, following a significant decline in her health throughout the year, she died of pernicious anemia in Greenville, Ohio, United States, at the age of 66. Her husband Frank E. Butler died only 18 days later and he was buried next to Annie’s ashes.