The real Crusoe FEB 25 2009
Historians are still piecing together what happened to Alexander Selkirk, upon whom Robinson Crusoe was based.
He had spent four years and four months on Más a Tierra, a windswept island in the Juan Fernandez archipelago, 650 kilometers (404 miles) off the coast of Chile. He was as alone as a human being can be. For Selkirk, there was no "Man Friday," a character Defoe created for his novel.
Selkirk was rescued by pirates and become one himself, making a fortune in the process. (via ny times ideas)