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Denys Finch Hatton
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Adventurer
    (April 24, 1887-May 14, 1931)
    Born in Lincolnshire, England, United Kingdom
    Big game hunter and aviator
    Featured in the books 'Out of Africa' by Isak Dinesen and 'West with the Night' by Beryl Markham
    Was the lover of both Dinesen and Markham
    Died in a plane crash in southern Kenya
    He ran a gambling parlor from his quarters at Oxford.
    He shaved his head for a college prank and the hair never completely grew back.
    Dinesen said he would have excelled in any field he chose if only he could 'be bothered to do anything about it.'
    One writer noted, 'He was famous mainly for being a lover of interesting women.'
    He was portrayed in the film of 'Out of Africa' by Robert Redford who did not much look like him and, more importantly, apparently could not manage an English accent to save his life.
    A biographer of Dinesen called him 'the most witty and blessed of men...an admirable friend, a warm student of nature, a great sportsman and an incomparable human being.'
    He freed his leg from the jaws of a crocodile by poking it in the eye.
    He successfully lobbied Parliament to establish wildlife reserves in British East Africa and to ban hunting from vehicles.
    At his request, he was buried in the hills overlooking Nairobi National Park.
    Lions were reportedly fond of sunning themselves on his grave.

Credit: C. Fishel


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