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Jim Rathmann
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Auto Racer
    (July 16, 1928-November 23, 2011)
    Born in Alhambra, California
    Birth name was Royal Richard Rathmann
    Won the Race of Two Worlds at Monza, Italy (1958)
    Three-time Indianapolis 500 runner-up (1952,1957,1959)
    Won the Indianapolis 500 (1960)
    Inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America (2007)
    After retiring from racing, ran a Chevrolet-Cadillac dealership in Florida
    He got his start illegally drag racing in the streets in southern California.
    He turned pro at 16, getting around the inconvenient fact that he was underage by using his older brother's ID, which is how he became 'Jim' Rathmann.
    Meanwhile, his brother also became an auto racer, known as 'Dick' Rathmann, having borrowed Jim's original middle name.
    Sports Illustrated called him a 'truculent competitor' and noted 'a scowl is the expression most often found' on his face.
    Sports Illustrated wrote that he was 'famous for his grit and savvy.'
    His 1960 victory, in which he and defending champ Rodger Ward exchanged the lead 14 times, is considered one of the most exciting races in Indy 500 history.
    While running his car dealership, he befriended the astronauts training at Cape Canaveral and convinced General Motors to provide each astronaut with a pair of new cars each year.
    As a show of thanks, one of the astronauts placed his dealership's decal on a lunar rover.

Credit: C. Fishel

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