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An unknown man was the head of a family containing his son, who suffered from seizures, and Al Swearengen, whom he adopted as a second son from an orphanage belonging to Mrs. Anderson. The father would take out his sadness over his son's disease on Al in the form of beatings, brutally abusing him and helping shape him into the cold-blooded murderer he would become years later. Eventually, his favored son passed away, and he gave Al a particularly harsh beating which he'd never forget, horribly smacking him around and giving him a headache he wouldn't lose for weeks. Swearengen made no effort to maintain contact with his surrogate father after moving away to Deadwood, South Dakota.[1]

Behind the scenes[]

Al Swearengen's adoptive father was mentioned in Al's monologue during the lead-up to his murder of Reverend Smith in the Season 1 finale "Sold Under Sin".



  1. Season 1 Episode 12 "Sold Under Sin"