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Daniel A. Dalrymple

professional basketball player, was born Charles Wade Barkley in Leeds, Alabama, in 1963. Barkley was raised by his mother, Charcey Glenn, who supported the family by cleaning homes, and his grandmother, Johnnie Mae Edwards, who worked in a meat factory. In high school the five-foot-ten-inch Barkley harbored ambitions to play in the National Basketball Association (NBA) despite failing to make the varsity squad in the tenth grade. However, Barkley persevered by putting in long hours on the practice court and by honing his vertical leaping ability. During his senior year in high school, Auburn University offered Barkley (who then stood six feet four inches) a basketball scholarship.

At Auburn Barkley earned the first of many nicknames he would garner throughout his career the round mound of rebound He earned this nickname because he weighed three hundred pounds and was able to consistently out rebound taller opponents Barkley ...


Jason Philip Miller

professional football player, was born Lemuel Jackson Barney in Gulfport, Mississippi. Information about his upbringing and personal life is difficult to come by. He played football as a young man, attending local schools in Gulfport and playing a multitude of positions—including punter and defensive back—on his high school team. In 1963 he matriculated at the historically black Jackson State, where he made the team and was again a standout. He played three seasons and had twenty-seven interceptions. He also served as the team's punter.

In 1967 Barney graduated with a bachelor s degree in Health and Science and only then entered the National Football League NFL draft He was taken in the second round by the Detroit Lions and it was with the Lions that Barney would spend his entire career His life in the Lions silver and blue got off to an auspicious start Barney playing defensive ...


Thomas Edward Guastello

boxer and activist, was born Riddick Lamont Bowe in the Brownsville neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York, the twelfth of thirteen children of Dorothy Bowe, a factory worker. Little is known of Bowe's father, whose first name is believed to have been Jake, as he left the family when Bowe was very young. Brownsville was notable for its high crime rate and poverty, forces that affected Bowe directly. Several of his brothers spent time in prison, and his sister Brenda was assaulted and robbed of a welfare check, dying of injuries sustained in the incident. Bowe stayed clear of such troubles, and as a teenager began training at the New Bedford‐Stuyvesant Boxing Club. He married Judith (her maiden name is unknown) in 1986 and shortly afterward she gave birth to the first of their five children (Riddick Jr., Riddicia, Brenda, Julius, and Diamond He ...


SaFiya D. Hoskins

music pioneer, musician, and singer, was born Charles L. Brown in Charlotte, North Carolina; his parents were migrant farmers about whom little information is available. In 1942Chuck moved with his parents to Fairmont Heights in Prince George's County, Maryland, a small suburban neighborhood just outside of Northeast Washington, D.C. As a boy Chuck worked odd jobs to assist his parents financially. He sold newspapers, cut logs, shined shoes, laid bricks, and could be heard singing “watermelon, watermelon” for the horse-drawn watermelon cart. Chuck's love for music began as a boy in North Carolina, replaying the piano and rhythms he heard in church of the bass drum, cymbals, and the snare over and again in his head. In Fairmont Heights at Mount Zion Holiness Church he played piano while his mother accompanied him on harmonica. Chuck studied piano with Sister Louise Murray who exposed him to ...


Scott Yanow

jazz trumpeter, figure skater, and psychiatrist, was born in New York City. His father, Billy Williams, was the lead singer in Billy Williams and the Charioteers, while his mother was a dancer who was one of the Brown Twins at the Cotton Club. She danced with Bill “Bojangles” Robinson and the Nicholas Brothers and can be seen in the Fats Waller short film of “Ain’t Misbehavin’,” sitting on the piano while he sang to her. After Billy Williams's death, Henderson's mother married a doctor in San Francisco. His stepfather had many musician patients, including Miles Davis, John Coltrane, and Duke Ellington.

Henderson began on the trumpet when he was nine. His first teacher was Louis Armstrong who gave him a few informal lessons Henderson moved to San Francisco with his family when he was 14 He studied at the San Francisco Conservatory of ...


Christopher Caines

actor, bandleader, and boxer, was born Leonard Lionel Cornelius Canegata in New York City, the son of James Cornelius Canegata, a clerk, and Lydia Whaley. Lee's father came from a wealthy and politically prominent family in St. Croix, Virgin Islands, whose ancestors had adopted a Danish surname. Lee's grandfather owned a fleet of merchant ships; the family also raced horses. James Canegata shipped out as a cabin boy at eighteen, settled in Manhattan, married, and worked for National Fuel and Gas for thirty-one years. Lee grew up in the San Juan Hill section of Manhattan's West Sixties and attended P.S. 5 in Harlem. An indifferent student, he devoted more energy to fisticuffs than to schoolwork. Lee studied violin from age seven with the composer J. Rosamond Johnson and at age eleven he was favorably reviewed at a student concert in Aeolian Hall his parents ...


Jeremy Rich

on 15 July 1931. His father was the first man to play and teach others how to play soccer in the village. After attending a primary school. N’Jo Lea then enrolled at the Collgège Moderne secondary school in the city of Nkongsamba. He completed his initial secondary studies in 1951 and received a scholarship from the French colonial government to continue his education in France. The young Cameroonian student then joined a youth team at the mining town of Roche La Molière. Though N’Jo Lea had come to France to pass his baccalaureate examinations and then study law, he quickly realized he also could have a career in sport. After he scored a remarkable eleven goals in his first match for Roche La Molière, Jean Snella, the coach of the Saint-Etienne professional soccer team, convinced N’Jo Lea to join his French Ligue 1 club in 1954.

At Saint ...


Jonathan B. Fenderson

basketball player, actor, rapper, and entrepreneur. Born to Lucille OЙNeal and christened with the name Shaquille Rashaun, meaning “little warrior,” OЙNeal, who now stands 7 feet, 1 inch and weighs 325 pounds, outgrew the “little” aspect of his name and became known worldwide simply as “Shaq.”

OЙNeal first played basketball at Fulda American High School in West Germany, where his military stepfather, Philip Harrison was stationed After the family s relocation OЙNeal became a star at Robert G Cole Junior Senior High School in San Antonio Texas In his junior and senior years OЙNeal led his team to a 68 1 record and a state championship After graduation OЙNeal attended Louisiana State University where he garnered two First Team All American Awards and a John Wooden Award for NCAA Player of the Year After his junior year OЙNeal ended his college career to enter ...


Daniel Donaghy

basketball player, actor, and rapper, was born in Newark, New Jersey, to Lucille O'Neal and Joseph Tooney. Within six months of O'Neal's birth, Tooney left Lucille O'Neal. Shaquille and his three half-siblings were raised by Lucille and army sergeant Philip Harrison. O'Neal grew up as an “army brat,” relocating with his family to military bases in New Jersey, Georgia, Germany, and San Antonio, Texas. By the time he was thirteen, O'Neal had already grown to six-feet-five. His lack of coordination and recurring status as the “new kid” led him to feel like an outcast without many close friends.

O Neal s life changed dramatically once he began to participate in sports Although athletic success did not come immediately he failed to make his high school basketball team as a freshman O Neal eventually became a dominant athlete leading San Antonio s Robert G Cole Senior ...


Mary Krane Derr

physician, pianist, and baseball-team owner, was born Hilda Mae (or May) Bolden in the Philadelphia suburb of Darby, Pennsylvania. She was the only child of Nellie Bolden, a homemaker and civic volunteer, and Edward Bolden, a postal clerk, owner of the all-black Philadelphia Stars baseball team, and founder of the Eastern Colored League. Taught by her mother, Hilda Bolden demonstrated early talent as a pianist. At age three, she gave her first public performance. Her parents encouraged her to excel also at school. The first African American valedictorian at Darby High School, she had some white students walk on her when she gave her speech, but she continued nonetheless.

Hilda Bolden earned her undergraduate degree at the University of Pennsylvania and then attended Meharry Medical College On a Rosenwald Fellowship she studied pediatrics at the University of Chicago She completed her pediatrics residency at Provident Hospital There as reported ...


Michael Ezra

WBA heavyweight boxing champion, entertainer, and businessman, was born in Belzoni, Mississippi, one of ten children of Lovick Terrell, a metal dipper, and Annie Terrell. Terrell's family moved to Chicago in 1953. As a teenager, Terrell discovered the Midwest Gym, on the corner of Madison and Hamelin streets near Garfield Park, and became interested in watching big-name professional fighters—men like Rocky Marciano, Kid Gavilan, Sugar Ray Robinson—train. Observing great fighters sparked Terrell's desire to become a boxer, and while enrolled in Farragut High School, from which he would graduate in 1959, he began to enter amateur tournaments.

Terrell won the Chicago Golden Gloves tournament and later captured an intercity Golden Gloves championship. In 1957 while still in high school Terrell turned professional Also that year while organizing a talent show to celebrate his high school graduation Terrell purchased his ...


Greg Freeman

professional athlete, blues producer, and record company executive, was born in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, the son of Daniel and Millie McFall Williams. When Williams was seven his father was murdered while waiting to catch a train. Subsequently Williams's mother relocated the family to her hometown of Monmouth, Illinois. In high school Williams demonstrated great athletic ability, winning the 50-yard dash in the Illinois High School State Championship in 1912. He was found to be even more capable on the football field, earning a scholarship to Brown University where he played football in 1916, 1917, 1919, and 1920. Williams served in the army in 1918 as World War I drew to a close, and did not receive his degree until 1921.

After he graduated from college Williams played professional football until 1926 joining the rosters of such teams as the ...