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Bill Kelly

Last updated on Monday, December 23, 2002

Bill Kelly

Bill Kelly

In his forty years as a freelance writer and newspaper reporter, Bill Kelly has interviewed and written about hundreds of names familiar to us: Mickey Rooney, Rory Calhoun, Sylvester Stallone, Gene Autry, Roy Rogers, Broderick Crawford, Henry Fonda, Victor Mature, Ginger Rogers, Ida Lupino, John Wayne, Aldo Ray, Joe Louis, Rocky Marciano, Sugar Ray Leonard, Muhammad Ali, and Henry Armstrong are among many.

Bill has authored an astounding 15,000 magazine articles - a phenomenal feat for any writer. His work has appeared in Poker Digest, Card Player, Real West, True West, Treasure Search, Treasure Cache, Lost Treasure, South Bay, Country Review, True Detective, Inside Detective, California Highway Patrolman, Oklahoma State Trooper, Texas Highway Patrol, Inland Empire, Reader’s Digest, Poker World, Ring Magazine, Boxing Illustrated, K.O., and Variety.

His freelance work has appeared in too many California newspapers to list here, but they include Herald Examiner, Orange County Register, and Press-Enterprise.

His critically-acclaimed Collector’s Edition of Bill Kelly’s Encyclopedia of Gunmen is a reference book treasured by historians and Western buffs alike. Bill’s second book, Treasure Trails and Buried Bandit Booty, is a collection of true accounts of buried outlaw swag, and contains clues to reportedly hidden loot throughout the United States.

Bill recently appeared on the History channel as an old west historian in "High Rollers: The History of Gambling."

Bill Was born in Tom’s River, New Jersey, on May 5, 1927. He now resides in Canyon Lake, California, where he spends most of his waking hours writing tons of articles to be enjoyed by thousands of readers.

His upcoming book, Empty Saddles, is a nostalgic tribute to the sagebrush sagas of the 1940s and 50s. It contains Bill’s interviews with fifty Cowboy stars that made cinema history. No release date has been set at this writing.

Articles by Bill Kelly

Bob Orlinger — New Mexico's killer deputy
Bob Olinger’s place in New Mexico history roughly parallels Billy the Kid’s, as overblown as that statement may seem. His own mother remembered him with the following unique phraseology, "Bob was a murderer from the cradle, and if there is a hell hereafter then he is there."

La Mesilla, New Mexico — the last 100 years
La Mesilla, New Mexico, has changed little since Billy the Kid and Jesse Evans died at the end of its lusty frontier atmosphere. Thick-walled adobe buildings erected by the remarkable men who trekked the heels of Don Rafael Rules from the heart of Old Mexico to settle in the spawning Rio Grande Valley are much the same as they were when 10-year-old Mary Maxwell, the daughter of one of La Mesilla’s forthright citizens, was carted off by a hungry mountain lion while gathering wildberries.

The Lincoln County War (1878-79) — Competition Wasn't Welcome

Nomad Indians dominated Lincoln County's population, but it had also been inhabited for hundreds of years along the Rio Grande and its branch by casual settlers. For many years, New Mexico was looked upon by politicians in Washington as an abandoned puppy among the states and territories. In 1874, General Tecumseh Sherman, testifying before the senate committee, thundered from the pulpit, "ownership of the Territory of New Mexico is not worth the cost of defense."

In 1849, the U.S. Government paid $10,000,000 to the State of Texas to settle the boundary dispute between New Mexico and Texas, spending a small fortune to keep a curb on the ferocious Indians and ruthless cutthroats widespread in the territory. In 1863, the Territory of Arizona was established by cutting off the western half of New Mexico. At the same time the uncivilized boundaries between New Mexico and Colorado were straightened. Arizona depended on the courage and gunslinging skills of imported peace officers along with the full and uncompromising support of the citizenry.

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