They don’t make them like this anymore.

On February 8th, the world lost a great adventurer. John Fairfax was one of, if not THE last great adventurer in the world. Unlike “adventurers” of today (a list which includes one of my personal heroes, Sir Richard Branson), he didn’t make a fortune in business and then set off to become an adventurer. By all accounts he was born that way. Or at least, started out his adventurous life at a very young age.

Some of the most noteworthy events in his life, as documented in his New York Times obituary include:

  • Crossing both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans — in a ROW BOAT (the Atlantic was a solo journey, when crossing the Pacific he had his girlfriend, whom he later married, with him)
  • At 9, he settled a dispute with a pistol. At 13, he lit out for the Amazon jungle.
  • He was apprenticed to a pirate.
  • At 13 he ran away in the jungle. He survived by trapping jaguars and ocelots and selling the skins.
  • Lovelorn, he attempted SUICIDE BY JAGUAR in college.
  • When crossing the pacific, he was bitten on the arm by a shark and later they were caught in a cyclone.

The world lost a great man. The kind of man that legends are made of. Will someone else rise up to take on his mantle? Or are we all too busy tweeting, Facebooking and blogging to get outside and go on an adventure? Are we too busy slaving away in an office, trying to claw our way into the 1% to get out there and experience the kind of life that he led? Only time will tell I suppose.

RIP John Fairfax – 21 May 1937 – 8 February 2012

John Fairfax Obit Photo

John Fairfax and Sylvia Cook, 1972

UPDATE: Apparently there was a seamy side to John Fairfax. As reported by the gossip blog Gawker, he was quite the hell-raiser and had a penchant for whores.

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About Ezra Englebardt
Account planner, digital nerd, marketing guru, tweeter, facebooker, occasional blogger, cyclist, snowboarder, mountain biker, social media junkie and avid reader. CU-Boulder and Boston College alum. Frequent guest speaker in Boston-area universities.

One Response to They don’t make them like this anymore.

  1. Laura says:

    My life seems so dull all of a sudden.

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