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5 famous Americans you didn’t know were dentists

Doc Holliday John Henry “Doc” Holliday is famously known for pulling guns on people at the O.K. Corral – but before he gained gun slinging fame, he spent his time pulling something a little more mundane: Teeth.

Edgar Buchanan A Western star of a different sort, Edgar Buchanan appeared in dozens of Wild West movies (including a Tombstone film) throughout the 1940s and ‘50s. However, the actor was probably best known for his work in “Green Acres,” “Petticoat Junction” and “The Beverly Hillbillies.” The work he rarely gets credited for? His time as a dentist.

Jim Lonborg It’s not often that you have a Cy Young award winner poking around in your mouth, but some patients in Massachusetts get to experience just that. Star baseball pitcher Jim Lonborg played for the Boston Red Sox from 1965 through 1971, and in 1967 became the first Red Sox pitcher to win the Cy Young Award. After a 15-year career, in which he played for the Sox, Brewers and Phillies, Lonborg retired and enrolled in the Tufts University School of Dental Medicine. He became a dentist and set up shop in Hanover, Mass.

Paul Revere He knew the British were coming, but Mr. Revere also knew a thing or two about dentistry. The famous midnight rider was also a silversmith, who studied under an English dental surgeon in the 1760s to learn how to make and insert false teeth. He used his craftsman skills to fashion dentures out of animal teeth or ivory to replace teeth that his 18th century compatriots had lost. In addition to being an amateur dentist, Revere is also credited as the first forensic dentist.

Mark Spitz One of America’s most successful swimmers was very close to becoming one of the country’s most expertly mustached dental professionals. Mark Spitz was a pre-dental student at Indiana University from 1968 to 1972 – but seven gold medals in swimming at the 1972 Summer Olympics made him rethink his career path.