Nye, Edgar Wilson (nĪ) [key], known as Bill Nye, 1850–96, American humorist and journalist, b. Shirley Mills, Maine. He lived in Wisconsin from 1852 to 1876, when he went to Wyoming. There he was admitted to the bar and became a judge. He founded and edited (1881–84) the Laramie Boomerang and contributed to it humorous comments and yarns of frontier life, which were collected in Bill Nye and Boomerang (1881), Forty Liars and Other Lies (1882), and Baled Hay (1884). In 1886 he moved to New York City, where he wrote for the World and gave lyceum recitals, some of them with James Whitcomb Riley. Among his later works are the comical Bill Nye's History of the United States (1894) and Bill Nye's History of England (1896) and the play The Cadi (1891).
See Bill Nye: His Own Life Story (comp. by his son, F. W. Nye, 1926); his letters (ed. by N. O. Rush, 1951).
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