Jesse James, born on September 5, 1847, in Kearney, Missouri, was the son of a preacher (born in Adair County, Kentucky) moved from Kentucky to Missouri in 1842. James and his brother Frank served for the Confederate Army before embarking on criminal careers in the Old West. On April 24, 1874, Jesse ended up marrying his long time sweetheart and 1st cousin, who was 14 at the time, and they ended up having two children. The James brothers made a name for themselves as bank and train robbers, leading to the James-Younger gang.
There were a total of 12 members in the gang including, Younger brothers, Jim, John, Bob and Cole Younger who would join the gang temporarily. These members would join the gang later on: John Jarrette who was Jesse James's brother-in-law, Clel Miller, Arthur McCoy, Matthew Nelson, Charlie Pitts, and Bill Chadwell. All the men had known each other previous to the gang, they had known each other since the Civil War. They considered themselves as "outcasts" in the war, and decided to take all their anger out on society. Although none of them were blood related, they still considered themselves as "brothers."
Responsible for more than 20 bank and train robberies and the murders of countless individuals who stood in their way, James and his gang stole around 1.5 million dollars; which in today's world would be around 50 million dollars. After 16 long years of crime and robbery, James was betrayed by one of his fellow gang members on April 3, 1882 and shot in the back of the head by Robert Ford, hoping to get the bounty that was set on James. James ended up dying at the age of 34.
Story: The most famous bank robbery attempted by the James-Younger band was at the First National Bank of Northfield, Minn., on Sept. 7, 1876. The bank clerk, who refused to open the safe, was savagely murdered; then the gang tried to escape. In the shoot-out that followed, two of the band were killed. A posse captured the three Younger brothers. Jesse and Frank James, both wounded, escaped. After they recovered, they continued robbing and killing sporadically.