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 ...
Michael L. Krenn
boxer and actor, was born in Jacksonville, Florida. His parents' names are unknown, and little is known about Wallace's early life. He first found work as a baggage handler for a railroad in Florida. At the suggestion of some of his friends who noted Wallace's size and strength, he left his home state in his late teens for New York City, where he hoped to establish himself as a heavyweight boxer.
Wallace progressed quickly as an amateur and entered the 1948 Golden Gloves tournament with an undefeated record. It was during this tournament that Wallace had his most famous fight. In the first round, he was matched against the winner of the New England Golden Gloves tourney, a rough and crude fighter named Rocky Marciano. Had Marciano not gone on to become the only undefeated heavyweight champion in the history of boxing the fight might have been ...