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Bass Reeves
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Crime Fighter
    (July 1838-January 12, 1910)
    Born in Crawford County, Arkansas
    First African-American, Deputy US Marshal west of the Mississippi serving for 32 years in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century
    Made over 3,000 arrests and killed 14 men in the line of duty
    While cleaning his fully loaded rifle (a strict safety no-no) he accidentally shot and killed his cook.
    He was named after a fish.
    He never spoke out on civil rights issues.
    He is not believed to have ever learned how to read and write.
    He had really big ears.
    That mustache!
    He inspired several books and was possibly the inspiration of the Lone Ranger.
    He was cleared of manslaughter charges in the death of his cook.
    After his son killed a man, he hunted him down and arrested him.
    After beating up his owner, he escaped from slavery and hid out in the Indian Territories until after the Civil War and passage of the 13th Amendment.
    He had ten children; five boys and five girls!
    In addition to English, he spoke several Indian languages and Spanish.
    He was never wounded in the line of duty although he did have his hat and even his belt shot off.
    Despite his status a a federal lawman he had to put the with the same Jim Crow crap as other blacks of his time.
    He worked very hard to avoid violence to little avail.
    He retired from the U.S. Marshal's office at 68 to become a policeman in Muskogee OK.
    He died painfully of Bright's Disease.
    He repeatedly caught outlaws by surprise who never suspected a black man could be a U.S. Marshal.

Credit: tom_jeffords

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