One Less Badass: Pirate, Gambler, Crosser of the Atlantic In A Rowboat, Dies

John Fairfax led a helluva life. And now it's over at age 74.

It seems highly unlikely that John Fairfax had many regrets on his deathbed. The man, who died at age 74, lived a life that reads like an adventure novel. An excerpt from his New York Times obituary:

At 9, he settled a dispute with a pistol. At 13, he lit out for the Amazon jungle.

At 20, he attempted suicide-by-jaguar. Afterward he was apprenticed to a pirate. To please his mother, who did not take kindly to his being a pirate, he briefly managed a mink farm, one of the few truly dull entries on his otherwise crackling résumé, which lately included a career as a professional gambler.

Fairfax's time in the Amazon jungle was inspired by his love of the Tarzan books and his stint with the Italian Boy Scouts (he was born of an English father and Bulgarian mother in Rome, and later lived in Buenos Aires). While he lived in the wilds he would occasionally return to civilization with ocelot and jaguar pelts he had collected with his own hands. His suicide by jaguar attempt came after a bad love affair at university (he studied literature and philosophy), but when faced with the actual jungle cat Fairfax decided he'd rather live to see another day and shot the beast to death.

Eventually he made it to London, where he realized that what he most wanted to do was be the first person to do a solitary rowboat trip across the Atlantic. 180 mad days - including nights in which, being so desperate for female company, he flirted with the planet Venus - Fairfax reached Hollywood, Florida. His inspiring words upon landfall?

"This is bloody stupid."

That didn't stop him from doing it again, this time with his then-girlfriend, rowing across the Pacific to Australia. Fairfax was bitten by a shark, they were hit by a cyclone, the rudder snapped off, and it was presumed they were dead. After almost one full year at sea they arrived at Hayman Island, Australia. 

Fairfax spent his last years in Nevada, married to a professional astrologer, where he played baccarat professionally. 

What a fucking life.