How many men did Doc Holliday kill?

atm-logoHow many men did Doc Holliday kill?

Russ Charles
Albuquerque, New Mexico

John Henry “Doc” Holliday’s reputation as the “deadly dentist” is greatly exaggerated. One account stated he won “more than thirty duels to the death;” another claimed he “killed at least sixteen men.” Holliday biographer Dr. Gary Roberts says Holliday killed only two: Tom McLaury, in the Tombstone, Arizona, street fight in 1881, and Mike Gordon, in Las Vegas, New Mexico, in 1879. Holliday participated in other shooting scrapes, but nobody died.


Marshall Trimble is Arizona’s official historian. His latest book is Wyatt Earp: Showdown at Tombstone.  If you have a question, write: Ask the Marshall, P.O. Box 8008, Cave Creek, AZ 85327 or e-mail him at

What do you think?

Marshall Trimble

Marshall Trimble is Arizona’s official historian and the Wild West History Association’s vice president. His latest book is 2018’s Arizona Oddities: A Land of Anomalies and Tamales. Send your question, with your city/state of residence, to or Ask the Marshall, P.O. Box 8008, Cave Creek, AZ 85327.