Never Give a Sucker an Even Break Wilson Mizner: playwrite, con man, friend of Wyatt Earp.

Wilson Mizner True West Magazine
Wilson Mizner.

Wilson Mizner is well known as a playwrite and storyteller.  But he was a few other things before that. In 1897, he journeyed to the Klondike Gold Rush (and later to Alaska)—where he ran badger games, managed fighters and even robbed a restaurant. He’s credited with coming up with the phrase, “Never give a sucker an even break.”

While in the Great White North, Mizner became friends with con man Soapy Smith and the legendary Wyatt Earp.  Earp and Mizner continued their relationship in Los Angeles. And in 1929, Mizner served as an honorary pallbearer at Earp’s funeral.

Wyatt: The Early Years

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Mark Boardman

Mark Boardman is the features editor for True West Magazine as well as the editor of The Tombstone Epitaph. He also serves as pastor for Poplar Grove United Methodist Church in Indiana.