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Patrick Stearns

professional boxer, actor, product spokesperson, and minister. George Edward Foreman was born in Marshall, Texas, to J. D. Foreman and Nancy Foreman. By the seventh grade he had dropped out of school, engaging in petty crimes, such as muggings. At age sixteen he enrolled in a Job Corps training program in Oregon. While working at a conservation camp affiliated with the program, Foreman found that he had a talent for boxing, and he won the Corps Diamond Belt Boxing Tournament.

In 1968 Foreman made the U.S. Olympic boxing team and won the gold medal in the Olympic Games in Mexico City. Vietnam War protests, the rise of black nationalism, and episodes of civil unrest in U.S. cities after Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination earlier in the year were a sign of the times. The 1968 Olympics in Mexico City were also the scene ...


Sharon L. Barnes

actress and writer, was born in Jacksonville, Florida, the daughter of Daniel Marshall Gilbert, the owner of a furniture business, and Edna Earl Knott, the owner of a dressmaking business. In an unfinished autobiographical manuscript Gilbert wrote that because of her parents' jobs, she was cared for and educated by a nurse. She enrolled in the Boylan Home, a seminary for girls in Jacksonville, when she was in the fourth grade. After her family moved to Tampa, Florida, Gilbert attended a Catholic school and the Orange Park Normal and Industrial School. She went to Edward Waters College in Jacksonville and after graduation taught school in southern Florida before deciding that she wanted a different profession. She then entered the Brewster Hospital Nurses Training School and graduated three years later, staying on the staff for two more years as the assistant superintendent.

After moving to New York City ...


Daniel Douglas

singer. Johnny Mathis is one of the music industry's most prolific and respected artists. Born in Gilmer, Texas, John Royce Mathis was the fourth of seven children. When he was young his family moved to San Francisco, where he grew up. His love of music began at an early age, fostered by his father. However, throughout his childhood Mathis grew not only as a musician but as an athlete. He trained with the opera coach Connie Cox in his early teenage years; he was also a world-class high jumper and set records at his college, San Francisco State University. By age nineteen Mathis had been offered a recording contract with the jazz department at Columbia Records and also had an offer to attend the high-jump trials for the 1956 Olympic Games.

Mathis opted for a music career He moved from California to New York and recorded his first album ...