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Tanners receive national awards


Last updated 8/14/2008 at Noon

Karen Holliday Tanner and John D. Tanner, Jr. hold the awards that were presented to them by the Wild West History Association last month.

A local couple received individual awards July 19 at the annual meeting of the Wild West History Association in Tulsa, OK.

John D. Tanner, Jr. was honored for his lifetime contributions to Wild West History. John has many years of researching, documenting and writing about the events, places and characters of the American West in the late 1800s and early 1900s. He is the author of five books and many articles on these events. John is retired from his position as professor of history at Palomar College in San Marcos.

Karen Holliday Tanner is also a writer with published works including a biography of Doc Holliday, a distant cousin, best known as a fearless gunman and gambler in the 1870s and ’80s in several western towns and a friend of the Earps in Tombstone, AZ, territory. Holliday had been trained as a dentist, but due to tuberculosis, left his practice in Georgia and drifted west.

Karen was honored for her service in effecting the merger of two history organizations, the National Outlaw and Lawmen Association and the Western Outlaws and Lawmen Association, into the Wild West History Association (WWHA).

Both Tanners are active in the WWHA. Karen serves on the board of directors and as treasurer. John serves on the advisory board and the editorial board for the WWHA Journal.

The Wild West History Association has approximately 700 members, including historians, researchers, college and university professors, judges, law enforcement personnel, attorneys and history buffs. Information about the organization can be found at


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