Stocky red-bearded Ned Buntline, the unruly dime novelist, and Buffalo Bill’s promoter was born Edward Zane Carroll Judson in 1823. He left home at thirteen and took to the high seas, and at fifteen he had already worked as a cabin boy on a freighter bound for the Caribbean, become a midshipman, and published his first story. He chose the pen name Buntline as a reminder of his sailing days (a buntline was a rope at the bottom of a square sail).
When his maritime career ended, he spent the next two years, by his own embellished accounts, killing buffaloes and grizzlies and roaming the western plains for the Northwest Fur Company. In 1844 while writing for a New York “flash” newspaper, the Knickerbocker, he started his own magazine, Ned Buntline’s Own. It was mixture of adventure stories and scandalous gossip in the flash press style. » Continue Reading.