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Matador’s Ashes Buried in Bull Ring

December 21, 1998

RONDA, Spain (AP) _ The ashes of famed Spanish matador Antonio Ordonez, whose prowess inspired novelist Ernest Hemingway, were buried Monday in the ancient bull ring of his hometown in southern Spain.

Bullfighting stars, politicians and family members were among the thousands of people who attended the service at the bull ring in Ronda, where Ordonez rose to fame in the 1950s and 1960s.

Ordonez died Saturday in nearby Seville at the age of 66.

In accordance with Ordonez’s wishes, an urn containing half his ashes was placed Monday in the Ronda bull ring by Ordonez’s grandson, Francisco Rivera Ordonez, himself now a leading matador.

Ordonez’s widow, Pilar Lezcano, and two daughters from a previous marriage kissed the urn before it was buried.

The rest of the ashes were to be dispersed in the Camargue region of southern France in May.

The intense rivalry between Ordonez and his brother-in-law, Luis Miguel Dominguin, was chronicled by Hemingway for Life magazine in 1959 and later became the book ``The Dangerous Summer.″

Known for his frill-free, disciplined, classical style of bullfighting, Ordonez was considered one of Spain’s greatest matadors and his fame spread outside Spain. He was a personal friend of Hemingway and filmmaker Orson Welles.

After his retirement in 1971, Ordonez dedicated his time to breeding bulls and became the owner of the Ronda bull ring.

In his final years he had suffered from lung cancer.

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