Bad Girls Throughout History: 100 Remarkable Women Who Changed the World - Ann Shen (2016)
“Little Sure Shot” Annie Oakley (1860-1926) was born in rural Ohio, where her father taught her to shoot small game while her sisters played with dolls. Her skilled marksmanship supported her family after her father’s untimely death when she was ten. At the age of fifteen, she beat touring shooting champion Frank Butler, who was ten years her senior. He fell in love with her immediately, and they married the following year. They traveled together as a performance duo and joined the vaudeville circuit. Her specialties included splitting cards on their edges, snuffing candles, popping corks off bottles, and shooting a cigarette out of her husband’s mouth.
In 1887, Oakley became the first female American international entertainment superstar when she crossed the Atlantic to join Buffalo Bill Cody’s show at the American Exposition in London. She performed for Queen Victoria and Kaiser Wilhelm II—even shooting a cigarette out of the Kaiser’s mouth. During World War I, Oakley offered to train a regiment of women sharpshooters, but the government ignored her. Instead, she set out to assist the war effort by performing at army camps to fund-raise for the Red Cross. Because of her impoverished upbringing, she was extremely frugal with her earnings and generous to charities.