Who Is the Most Famous Outlaw in American History?

Outlaws have always been a fascinating subject for Americans. From the wild west to modern-day gangsters, they have captured the imagination of the masses.

But who is the most famous outlaw in American history? Let’s take a look at some of the contenders.

1. Billy the Kid

One of the most iconic outlaws of all time is undoubtedly Billy the Kid. Born as Henry McCarty, he gained notoriety during the Lincoln County War in New Mexico in 1878.

He was accused of killing eight men and became a fugitive from justice. Eventually, he was caught and sentenced to death by hanging, which was carried out on July 14, 1881.

2. Jesse James

Jesse James is another legendary outlaw that comes to mind when we talk about American history. He was born in Missouri in 1847 and became famous for robbing banks and trains with his gang known as the James-Younger Gang. He was shot dead by one of his own gang members, Robert Ford, in 1882.

3. Bonnie and Clyde

Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow were two notorious criminals who terrorized America during the Great Depression era in the 1930s. They were known for their daring robberies and shootouts with law enforcement officers. They were eventually killed in a police ambush on May 23, 1934.

The Verdict

So who is the most famous outlaw in American history? It’s hard to say as each of these individuals has left an indelible mark on American culture through books, movies, and other forms of media.


Outlaws have always been a part of American history and folklore. Whether it’s Billy the Kid or Bonnie and Clyde, their stories continue to fascinate us to this day. While their actions may have been illegal and immoral, they have left behind a legacy that will never be forgotten.

  • Billy the Kid
  • Jesse James
  • Bonnie and Clyde