"Doc" Holliday

    "Doc" Holliday was born John Henry Holliday in 1851 in Georgia. He received a strong classical secondary education in rhetoric, grammar, math, history and languages. In 1870 when he was 19 years old he Doc Hollidayleft home and began dental school in Philadelphia. In 1872 he received a degree of Doctor of Dental Surgery from the Pennsylvania College of Dental Surgery. Later that year he opened an office in Atlanta. While in Atlanta, Holiday lived with his uncle and began his career as a dentist.
    Shortly after beginning his dental practice, Holliday was diagnosed with tuberculosis (consumption). His mother died when he was 14 from tuberculosis and it is possible he contracted the disease from her, because it was not known to be contagious until 1882. Holliday was given only a few months to live but believed moving to the southwester United States would slow the process.
    For sometime he lived in Dallas, Texas and operated a dental office. Soon he began to gamble and discovered it was much more income since his patients feared him as a dentist because of the tuberculosis. Holliday was well known for disagreements with other people based on gambling and this lead to a much worse reputation than he deserved. After several fights in Texas he decided to leave the state. Many people beleived "Doc" would die by gun or knife before tuberculosis.
    In 1877 Holliday returned to Texas and met Wyatt Earp. The two become friends and were especially close after Earp defended Holliday in a saloon. The two would continue to be friends in Tombstone, AZ.
    It was in 1880 that Holliday made his way to Tombstone, Arizona. The Earps arrive a few months before him. Holliday quickly became part of the war that wasHolliday's tombstone building between the Earps and the "Cowboys". And on October 26, 1881 he was involved in the gunfight at the O.K. Corral. Holliday had accompanied the Earp brothers to take away the weapons the McLaury and Clanton brother and Billy Claiborne were reported to have. Some believe that Holliday poked out his pistol to threaten a "Cowboy" but no facts have ever been completely agreed upon. Holliday survived the gunfight sustaining only a grazed hip injury.
    Holliday was arrested for the murder of Stillwell who the Earps believed planned to kill Virgil at his departure from Tucson, but he was never convicted.
    After several ambushes that attempted to kill the Earps, the brothers and Holliday fled town. While they left Tombstone, they did not leave Arizona. Holliday accompanied Wyatt Earp on his Vendetta Ride.
    After the Vendetta Ride, Holliday never returned to Arizona. Instead, he lived the rest of his life in Colorado. However, high altitudes of his first home in Colorado and fumes from water probably did "Doc" more harm than help. In November of 1887, Holliday died at the age of 36, with his boots off in bed, as no one suspected. His gravestone is located in Glenwood Springs, Colorado but based on the timing it is speculated that he owuld not have really been buried there. There has been no attempt to exhume the gravesite and figure out if his body really lies there.


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