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Eric Bennett

George Foreman grew up in Houston, Texas, and had a rough early life, dropping out of high school, drinking heavily, and committing petty larcenies. In 1965 he turned his life around by joining the Job Corps, where he encountered Boxing. Showing exceptional natural skill for the sport, Foreman won his first official amateur fight in 1967 with a first-round knockout. His talent developed quickly, and in 1968 he won a gold medal for the United States at the Summer Olympic Games in Mexico City.

The following year Foreman launched his record-breaking professional career. By 1973 he had knocked out thirty-six consecutive opponents and won the title of heavyweight champion from Joe Frazier. Foreman defended his title until 1974, when underdog Muhammad Ali knocked him out in Kinshasa, Zaire.

After a fight in Puerto Rico in 1977 Foreman experienced a religious awakening that led him to ...

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Canada Lee was born in New York City. Originally a boxer, Canada Lee entered the theater after a fight in 1933 left him blind in one eye. He began his acting career in the role of Banquo in a black production of Shakespeare's Macbeth, funded by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) Negro Federal Theatre Project, in 1936. The play was directed by Orson Welles and marked the beginning of Lee's portrayal of nontraditional roles, at a time when most black actors and actresses were relegated to demeaning roles.

Although Macbeth received some negative reviews (due more to the fact that a black cast was performing Shakespeare than to the quality of the acting), it gave Lee the needed exposure to continue in such roles. Through the WPA Negro Federal Theatre Project, he continued to experiment with the nontraditional, performing in Eugene O'Neill's One Act Plays ...

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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 ...

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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 ...