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Gregorio Fuentes
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Personal Assistant
    (July 11, 1897-January 13, 2002)
    Born in Lanzarote, Canary Islands, Spain
    First mate and chef on Ernest Hemingway's boat, Pilar
    He claimed to be the inspiration for Santiago, the protagonist in 'The Old Man and the Sea,' but Hemingway said the character was 'based on no one in particular.'
    Several literary scholars said that if Santiago was based on anyone, it was Carlos Gutierrez, Fuentes' predecessor as mate of the Pilar.
    He never read 'The Old Man and the Sea,' or any other Hemingway novels.
    He would charge tourists $50 to talk about Hemingway for fifteen minutes.
    He was married to Dolores Perez for over 70 years.
    Over the years, he rode out four hurricanes at sea.
    He saved the life of Ernest's six-year-old son Gregory by machine-gunning a shark.
    He was left the Pilar by Hemingway (along with the author's fishing gear), and later donated it to Cuba's Hemingway Museum. (Or the boat was seized by Fidel Castro's government, depending on which story you hear.)

Credit: C. Fishel

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