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Early life Elliott was born Gordon A. Nance in Pattonsburg, Missouri, the son of cattle broker Leroy "Roy" Whitfield Nance and his wife, the former Maude Myrtle Auldridge.<ref name=autogenerated1>Daviess County (Missouri) Historical Society journal, "More About 'Wild Bill Elliott'", March 15, 2004</ref><ref>(While there has been debate about the exact year of his birth, his parents' marriage license in Daviess County, Missouri Marriage Records for 1901 and U.S. Census records [and the ages listed for his siblings] make clear that he was born in 1904 and no other year.) 1910 U.S. Census, Gentry County, Missouri</ref>

The young Nance grew up within twenty miles of his birthplace, most of his youth spent on a ranch near King City, Missouri. His father was a cattle rancher and commissioner buyer for the Kansas City stockyards. Riding and roping were part of Gordon Nance's upbringing. He won first place in a rodeo event in the 1920 American Royal livestock show. He briefly attended Rockhurst College, a Jesuit school in Kansas City, but soon left for California with hopes of becoming an actor.<ref name=autogenerated1 />


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Early life
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