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Cassius Marcellus Coolidge
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    (September 18, 1844-January 13, 1934)
    Born in Antwerp, New York
    Nickname was 'Cash'
    Contracted in 1903 by the St. Paul company Brown & Bigelow to create 16 different paintings of dogs in various human situations
    Nine of the paintings depicted dogs playing poker, including his most famed 'A Friend in Need' (pictured)
    Died in Grasmere, Staten Island at age 89
    He didn't marry until age 64, and married a woman 35 years his junior.
    He created the gimmicky tourist icon called Comic Foregrounds, where life-size cutouts of cartoon caricatures in amusing poses were made with the head cut out so people could place their heads within to be photographed.
    Four of his poker playing dogs are shown with four aces, an extremely rare poker hand.
    He moved his family to a remote part of Staten Island where it took his wife and daughter three hours to get to and from work and school, respectively.
    His oft imitated poker playing dogs are a staple painting for many a bachelor pad.
    He was largely a self-taught artist.
    He founded Antwerp's first bank.
    He invented and received a patent for an apparatus to collect fares from street cars.
    Chasing boys from an abandoned house he fell and injured his knee, giving him a permanent limp.
    He wrote an opera titled 'King Gallinipper,' also designing the costumes and the scenery, which was produced on stage.
    Two of his poker playing dog paintings went up for auction and were expected to bring between $30,000 and $50,000, but sold for a whopping $590,400 (February 15, 2005).

Credit: Scar Tactics

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