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Dan Blankenship (1923–2019), treasure hunter starred on "The Curse of Oak Island"

Facebook / History Channel

Former Florida contractor dug into Oak Island's secrets for decades

Dan Blankenship was a treasure hunter and one of the stars of the History Channel reality show "The Curse of Oak Island." The show follows Blankenship and others as they search for treasure or historical artifacts believed by some to be hidden on Nova Scotia's Oak Island. Blankenship and his son, Dave, were full-time residents of the island, which he co-owned along with investors including the show's other stars, Rick and Marty Lagina. The "curse" of the six-season show's title refers to a legend dating back more than one hundred years that says seven men will die while seeking the island's treasure before it is found. There's disagreement as to whether six or seven had died prior to Blankenship's death.

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Died: March 17, 2019 (Who else died on March 17?)

Details of death: Died at the age of 95.

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How Blankenship became a treasure hunter: Blankenship wasn't always a driven man in search of a mysterious treasure. He was once a Florida contractor. But then he read a 1965 Reader's Digest article about Oak Island, and he was immediately hooked. By the 1970s, he had permanently relocated to Oak Island, and he spent the rest of his life in search of the riches said to be concealed on the island.

Blankenship on that fateful article: “I handed the article over to my wife and said, 'Read that' and so she read it, and in so many words, said 'So what?' I said, 'Well, No. 1, there's treasure on Oak Island, and No. 2, I'm going to be instrumental in getting it.' That was the beginning.”

What people said about him: “All these treasure hunters even going back to the start — they want to be the ones to solve this thing. You have to have that belief, that passion that you are going to be the one to solve it, because if you don't then there is no point in even being there.” —Charles Barkhouse, Oak Island historian

“He had one folder that was probably about four or five inches thick of people's ideas of how to do it. But none of them ever panned out.” —Blankenship's son, Dave

Funeral details: A funeral service will be held Monday in Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia.

Full obituary: CTV News Atlantic

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