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Wondering what will end up in your obituary is really nerve-racking to think about. What will people say about you when you’re dead and gone? Everyone hopes that they sound like a good person, at least like a nice guy or something. But an ocean rower has just set a new standard for obituaries, because he’s a total badass. John Fairfax died at the age of 74 and is now immortalized by having the coolest New York Times obituary of all time. He was an ocean rower who managed to cross the Atlantic by himself in a small rowboat. Three years later, he traversed the Pacific with his girlfriend in tow (they later broke up). He spent the end of his life making a living off winnings in baccarat, or as the Times says, “the card game also favored by James Bond.” But that’s just the tip of the iceberg really — we didn’t even get up to pistol fights and his attempted jaguar suicide yet.
We rated Fairfax’s coolest moments, so you’ll know how cool he really was:
On a camping trip when he was 9, John concluded a fight with another boy by filching the scoutmaster’s pistol and shooting up the campsite. No one was injured, but his scouting career was over.
One does not simply just become that cool, one has to be born cool.
Coolness Index: 6
He later studied literature and philosophy at a university in Buenos Aires and at 20, despondent over a failed love affair, resolved to kill himself by letting a jaguar attack him. When the planned confrontation ensued, however, reason prevailed — as did the gun he had with him.
Emotional rawness after a torrid affair always gets major points. Fighting off jaguars is just outrageous.
Coolness Index: 8
At 13, in thrall to Tarzan, he ran away from home to live in the jungle. He survived there as a trapper with the aid of local peasants, returning to town periodically to sell the jaguar and ocelot skins he had collected.
Oh, come on.
Coolness Index: 10