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Lee Duncan
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Animal Expert
    (October 1, 1892-September 20, 1960)
    Born in Hanford, Kings County, California
    Birth name was Leland Duncan Dumas
    Owner and trainer of canine star Rin Tin Tin
    Sold guns at B. H. Dyas Co., a Los Angeles sporting goods store
    Enlisted in the US Army, as an aerial gunner, during World War I
    Rescued a litter of German shepherd puppies, abandoned in the trenches by the retreating Germans
    Brought them back to the United States, keeping only one of them; who would go on to become the famous (original) Rin Tin Tin
    Continued to train and enter Rin Tin Tin's descendants in successive Hollywood movie roles
    Most prominently Rin Tin Tin IV, starred in the beloved television series, 'The Adventures of Tin Tin Tin' (1954-59)
    Portrayed by Tyler Jensen in 'Finding Rin Tin Tin' (2007)
    His hair had turned silver white before he was even through with puberty.
    Accounts differ as to what ever became of his father, who disappeared when Lee was an infant.
    He claimed that a home remedy of 'raw egg white in cherry wine' saved his dog's life shortly after their arrival in the US.
    His dog's ill-tempered behavior got him in constant litigation (most of the suits he won).
    He gave the original Rin Tin Tin's puppies to friends that included Jean Harlow, Greta Garbo and W.K. Kellogg.
    His devotion to his dog, at times forsaking his wife and children, struck many as the height of eccentricity.
    Such behavior included building a sedan-chair for the dog near the end of his life, with a canvas rood to block the sun, which he mounted on the back of a pack mule for rides through the mountains.
    He was reluctant to sign off on a television deal for his Rin Tin Tin breed, turning down offer after offer, convinced that the medium had no future.
    He died without ever having trademarked the name 'Rin Tin Tin,' establishing a tradition with future owners of Rin Tin Tin descendants.
    It has been disputed as to whether his last words from his deathbed really were 'there will always be a Rin Tin Tin' (a favorite line of his).
    He was part-Cherokee with a Mormon grandfather who had traveled with Brigham Young.
    He was left at the doorstep of an orphanage by his widowed mother, at the age of 6.
    He was among the first 300 Americans sent to France in the 135th Air Squadron.
    He had charge of the squadron's ordinance and was the first American to synchronize machine gun fire through aircraft propellers.
    He was wounded in action during his WWI service, having been shot in the arm on his first mission in France.
    He was a social misfit even during his service, one who preferred to spend time in a local barn playing with the German Shepherd puppies he had rescued than spend time drinking and carousing with his fellow soldiers.
    He had a boundless faith in his dog, believing that he could become the biggest star in 1920s Hollywood. Turned out, he was right.
    He trained more than 5,000 war dogs for the Army K-9 Corps at Camp Hahn, California, during WWII.
    He broke ground in the 'animal training' medium, by demonstrating that dogs could be trained without use of physical force.
    He didn't even bribe his dog with food or excessive attention, instead allowing him to play with a squeaky rubber doll he had been using since he was a puppy.
    His obsession with Rinty seemed less out of vanity or greed (he never splurged the money he made), but rather out of a spiritual belief that he represented selfless love, courage, and hope.

Credit: BoyWiththeGreenHair

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