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June 7: Dean Martin’s Birthday

It’s Dean Martin’s birthday. Born Dino Paul Crocetti in Steubenville, Ohio in 1917, Dean was the very epitome of the suave drinker. He did it all: he crooned, he acted, he did comedy, he was a bootlegger, he dealt blackjack in a speakeasy, he boxed, he was a key member of the Rat Pack, he hosted highly successful shows on TV for 20 straight years. And he drank heroically all the while and, what’s more, he made it look easy. After he ascended to the Great Lounge in the Sky in 1995, the people he was least likely to drink with, namely his children and Jerry Lewis, tried to discount Dino’s boozing prowess. But those he┬ádid drink with, namely the Rat Pack and assorted other carousers, said Dean, as Frank put it, was the Captain of their Olympic Drinking Team. True story: When the great man died, the lights of the Vegas Strip were dimmed in his honor. And rightfully so.