Mr. T

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Laurence Tureaud (born May 21, 1952), better known by the stage name Mr. T, is an American actor known for his roles as B. A. Baracus in the 1980s television series The A-Team, as boxer Clubber Lang in the 1982 film Rocky III, and for his appearances as a professional wrestler. Mr. T is known for his trademark African Mandinka warrior hairstyle (often mistaken for a mohawk hairstyle), his gold jewelry, and for his tough-guy image. In 2006 he starred in the reality show I Pity the Fool, shown on TV Land, the title of which comes from his catchphrase from Rocky III.


Early life

Mr. T was born in Chicago, Illinois, the youngest son in a family with twelve children. His father, Nathaniel Tureaud Sr., was a minister.[1] Tureaud, with his four sisters and seven brothers, grew up in a three-room apartment at one of the city's housing projects, Robert Taylor Homes, which was of degrading housing stock, high levels of environmental pollutants and was the largest concentration of poverty in America[2]. His mother was able to feed her family on welfare check of $87 a month. Tureaud had witnessed murder, rape, and crime on a daily basis but survived due to his will to do well and his mother's love [3].

Tureaud attended Dunbar High School,[4] where he played football, wrestled, and studied martial arts. In Dunbar High School he became the City wrestling champion two years in a row. He won a football scholarship to Prairie View A&M University, where he majored in mathematics, but was expelled after his first year.[5] He then enlisted in the United States Army and served in the Military Police Corps. In July 1976 Tureaud's platoon sergeant had punished him by giving him the detail of chopping down trees during training camp at Fort McCoy in Wisconsin but without letting him know how many trees to stop at, and so had single-handedly chopped down over seventy trees from 6:30am to 10:00am until a higher ranking major in shock had relieved him, superseding his sergeant's orders[6]. In November 1975 Tureaud was awarded a letter of recommendation by his drill sergeant and in a cycle of six thousand troops Tureaud was elected "Top Trainee of the Cycle" and was also promoted to Squad Leader[7]. After his discharge, he tried out for the Green Bay Packers, but failed to make the team due to a knee injury.[5]

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