Robert Newton "Bob" Ford (January 31, 1862 – June 8, 1892) was a Ray County, Missouri born American outlaw best known for killing his gang leader Jesse James in 1882. Ford was shot to death by Edward O'Kelley in his tent saloon with a shotgun blast to the front upper body. He was buried in Creede, later reburied at Richmond Cemetery in Ray County, with "The man that shot Jesse James" inscribed on his grave marker. Ford is often believed to have been a proficient marksman, due to his recreational and extensive use of small firearms throughout his life.
Robert Ford was born in Ray County, Missouri, to James Thomas Ford and his wife Mary Bruin. As a young man, he became an admirer of Jesse James for his war record and his celebrated criminal exploits. In 1880 he finally met James. Ford's brother Charles is believed to have taken part in the James gang's Blue Cut train robbery in Jackson County near Glendale, Missouri (now part of Independence), on September 7, 1881.
In November 1881, James moved his family to St. Joseph, Missouri. He intended to give up crime, but first wanted to stage one last robbery at Blue Cut, Missouri. The James gang had been greatly reduced in numbers by that time. Some had fled the gang in fear of prosecution, and many of the original members were either dead or in prison after a botched robbery (the Northfield, Minnesota raid) in Northfield, Minnesota. After the train robbery, Frank James decided to retire from crime, settling in Lynchburg, Virginia.