He was in love with a girl from his town when he was just 13 years old but his family moved to California. As soon as he got back when he was 19, he pretty much proposed to her every day. She (Urilla Sutherland), finally said yes and they got married. She became pregnant and not long after they were married Urilla became ill from typhoid fever and died before the baby was born. She was just 20 years old.
Wyatt was devastated so he quit his job and moved away. It took him around four years to recover from losing Urilla and during that time he was arrested several times along with one of his brothers, for being invested in houses of ill repute along with assaults (he was a form of bouncer), and vagrancy (basically homeless and sleeping in barns and allies). He was drinking and gambling heavily during this time.
Then for reasons unknown, he flipped. He started helping lawmen track down fugitives and eventually got a job as deputy. He became sheriff in the most dangerous town in the country, Dodge City, but people didn't like his aggressive tactics (not many people made their way to jail), so he was asked to leave. Ed Masterson took over as sheriff (Bat Masterson's brother), because he was softer in his approach to maintain law and order.
Not long after Wyatt got the job of sheriff in a town in Texas, he was sent a cable that Ed was killed and they wanted him back in Dodge City and were willing to pay him what he wanted for him to return. He asked for $100 a month and $2.50 for each incarceration. This arrangement made him fairly wealthy and he began investing in businesses (i.e. hotels, casinos, etc.). Although a lawman, he also loved being an entrepreneur.
We all pretty much know the rest of the story as it has been covered in so many movies, but the bottom line is that Wyatt ended up being one of the greatest lawmen of all time and he had to go to his deepest and darkest place, before he could get there.
Wyatt died at the age of 80 and he had found love again with Josephine Marcus, his common law wife (he never divorced his previous wife from Dodge City), and they were married for around 47 years up until Wyatt's death of natural causes. What I find amazing is that Wyatt lived in Los Angeles when he passed away and was a consultant for western movies (silent films).