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Chang Apana
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Crime Fighter
    (December 26, 1871-December 8, 1933)
    Born in Waipio, Oahu, Hawaii
    Birth name was Ah Ping Chang
    Officer and detective in the Honolulu police department (1898-1932)
    According to author Earl Derr Biggers, was the inspiration for Charlie Chan
    He never learned to read, relying on family members to read documents to him.
    He turned down an offer to appear in ‘The Black Camel’ (1931), the only Charlie Chan movie to film scenes in Hawaii.
    Other than being Chinese and a detective, he had little in common with his fictional counterpart, who was considerably more portly and cerebral.
    He once arrested 40 men without any backup, armed only with a bullwhip.
    During his police career, he was stabbed six times, shot once, thrown out of a second-story window, run over by a horse and buggy, attacked with machetes and bludgeoned with ax handles – and each time still managed to make an arrest.
    He won the department’s Medal of Valor three times.
    He never received any payment for inspiring the Charlie Chan character.
    Biggers did send him an autographed copy of each novel, although this may not have the most appropriate gift considering Apana’s illiteracy.
    He was a fan of the Charlie Chan films and their star, Warner Oland.

Credit: C. Fishel

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