Reuben J. 'Rooster' Cogburn
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Biography for
Reuben J. 'Rooster' Cogburn (Character)
from True Grit (2010)

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Cogburn is a veteran of the American Civil War who probably served under Confederate guerilla leader William Quantrill, where he lost his eye. He was once married to an Illinois woman, who left him to return to her first husband after bearing Cogburn a single, extremely clumsy son (of whom Cogburn says, "He never liked me anyway"). Cogburn is described as a "fearless, one-eyed U.S. marshal who never knew a dry day in his life." He is "the toughest marshal" working the Indian Territory (present-day Oklahoma) on behalf of Judge Isaac Parker,[2] the real-life judge of the United States District Court for the Western District of Arkansas (having criminal jurisdiction in the Indian Territory, as the bailiff repeatedly announces in both films). He has killed approximately 23 people during his time as a U.S. Marshall, all of which he said he killed in self defense. In the first film, Cogburn helps a headstrong 14-year-old girl, Mattie Ross (Kim Darby), along with inexperienced lawman Le Beouf (Glen Campbell), to track down Tom Chaney (Jeff Corey), the man who drunkenly killed her father. In the sequel, he teams up with elderly spinster Eula Goodnight (Katharine Hepburn) and Wolf (Richard Romancito) while on the trail of a desperado, Hawk (Richard Jordan), who has stolen a shipment of nitroglycerin from the U.S. Army. Cogburn lives in Fort Smith, Arkansas in the back of a Chinese dry-goods store, along with the proprietor, his friend and gambling buddy Chen Lee, and an orange tabby cat named after Confederate Gen. Sterling Price.

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