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Juan Belmonte
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    (April 14, 1892-April 8, 1962)
    Born in Seville, Spain
    Set a record by fighting 109 times in a season (1919)
    Featured prominently in Hemingway's 'The Sun Also Rises' (1926) and 'Death in the Afternoon' (1937)
    At 11, he joined a street gang that taught him 'to smoke, to drink, to play cards and to go with women.'
    He made his living killing animals for sport.
    His first bullfight went so badly, he begged the bull to kill him.
    Several matadors were killed trying to imitate him.
    He kept retiring and coming back to the ring.
    Despite marrying a socialite, he was a constant womanizer.
    His technique, in which he stood his ground and used his control of the cape to make the bull swerve away from him, revolutionized bullfighting.
    Asked how often he had been gored, he replied, 'About 50 times, including three times where a man appreciates it least.'
    One of his lovers said, 'The same energy that went into his conquering a bull also went into his conquering a woman, and he was the greatest lover I ever had.'
    He committed suicide after telling friends, 'My doctor has forbidden me to do the three things I love most in the world: fight bulls, ride horses and mount women. It's time to go.'

Credit: C. Fishel

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