Saturday, March 17, 2018

On Frank Buck's Birthday

Frank Buck (March 17, 1884 – March 25, 1950) was a boyhood hero of mine. I first learned about him when a friend loaned me "Bring 'Em Back Alive", a book chronicling Mr. Buck's exploits and expeditions into the wildest places on Earth. I became enamored with a man that died fifteen years before I was born. A lot of who I am as a writer, was because of reading that book and discovering who the big game hunter was. I've even used Frank Buck in some of my Captain Hawklin Adventures, most notably "The Secrets of Monster Island". 

Frank began his exploits in 1910, making many expeditions into Asia for the purpose of hunting and collecting exotic animals, bringing over 100,000 live specimens back to the United States and elsewhere for zoos and circuses and earning a reputation as an adventurer.

Between 1932 - 1943 he appeared in seven adventure films, many can be found on YouTube. He briefly worked as director of the San Diego Zoo, and displayed wild animals at the 1933–34 Century of Progress exhibition and 1939 New York World's Fair.

He toured with Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, and co-authored an autobiography, 1941's All in a Lifetime. 

In his hometown of Gainesville, Texas you can find, The Frank Buck Zoo. Where in 2008 they opened the Frank Buck Exhibit, showcasing camp tools and media memorabilia that had once belonged to Buck and were donated by his daughter Barbara

I could go on and on about this man, but the best way to discover his exploits is to read about him. Many of his books are on Amazon marketplace and ebay, for a hefty sum, but worth it for any collector and Frank Buck enthusiast. 

Heroes are hard to come by nowadays, I'm not sure kids growing up in 2018 have roll models like Frank Buck. He was a man of conviction, a man of heart and a man of adventure.

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