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'Dog' Chapman celebrates birthday, freedom

By Steven Mark

LAST UPDATED: 1:12 p.m. HST, Feb 7, 2014

In a big bow-wow of a birthday bash, bounty-hunter-turned-celebrity Duane "Dog" Chapman celebrated his 61st birthday with more than 150 of his closest friends.

Chapman, whose televised pursuit of fugitives and attempts at redeeming their souls have won him a loyal television following first on cable network A&E and now on the Country Music Television channel, was the surprise guest of honor at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel on Thursday evening. The event was organized by his wife and co-star, Beth Chapman, who tricked her husband into showing up.

"He hasn't been so cooperative over the years for birthdays," she said. "It took quite a bit to put together his 60th birthday party, so I basically threw it a year later.

"All of his children are here, friends from Colorado, people who haven't seen him in 10 or 15 years are here," she said. "Partners in crime who have cleaned up their acts from 30 years ago, they've all flown out here."

To Duane Chapman, whose birthday was actually on Sunday, the Feb. 6 date, was just as significant to him.

"Thirty-five years ago today I walked out of prison in Texas," he said, referring to an 18-month sentence served for gang-related activities. "I said, 'This is not the life for me, I'm going to change my life and someday I want to be something.'" story and more photos: photo gallery:

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