Wisconsin man wins annual Hemingway lookalike contest

KEY WEST, Fla. — After more than a decade of waiting, the bell finally tolled for a Wisconsin man in the annual Hemingway Look-Alike Contest.

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Gerrit Marshall, a retired television broadcast engineer from Madison, was the winner in Saturday night’s final round, defeating 140 other white-bearded contestants on his 68th birthday, The Associated Press reported.

“This is the best birthday I have ever had,” Marshall said. His birthday is one day after the July 21 anniversary of famed author Ernest Hemingway’s birth, according to the AP.

Fittingly, the finals were held at Sloppy Joe’s Bar in Key West, a frequent hangout for Hemingway when “The Man and the Sea” author lived in the Florida Keys during the 1930s.

While living in Key West, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author wrote “For Whom the Bell Tolls” and “To Have and Have Not,” according to the AP.

Marshall won after being a finalist in 2022 and 2021, according to the Hemingway Look-Alike Society’s website.

Last year’s event was won by Jon Auvil, an attorney from Dade City, Florida.

He was a second-round finalist in 2013, 2014 and 2015, and a first-round finalist in 2017, 2018 and 2019.

There was no contest in 2020 due to the pandemic.

Marshall told the AP that he shares several characteristics besides his resemblance to Hemingway. He has written nonfiction and short fiction pieces.

“Like Hemingway, I have a love of the outdoors,” Marshall told the news organization. “I love fishing one heck of a lot.”

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