Black Facts for October 18th

1958 - Thomas Hearns

Thomas Hearns was born on October 18, 1958 in Tennessee and relocated to Michigan with his family at the age of 5. After she got divorced from his father, Hearns’ mother remarried and gave Hearns six more siblings from the second marriage, adding up to a total of eight siblings.

Even though he grew up in a big family, Hearns was a shy child and only came out of his nest when he first discovered his interest in boxing at the age of eight. A few years later, he started training at Detroit’s Kronk Gym. Hearns started boxing as an amateur for a 10 year stretch in 1967 and earned himself the merit of a knockout puncher with a record of 158 wins and 8 losses.

Hearns’ career as a professional boxer began in 1977. Despite winning 17 matches in a row by knockouts, Hearns’ efforts were not recognized by the public until he beat Jose Cuevas in two rounds and won himself the welterweight title of World Boxing Association in 1980.

The following year, Thomas Hearns lost his title to Sugar Ray Leonard but redeemed himself by winning eight different world titles in six different weight classes over the course of his career. He also became the first boxer to win world titles in four different divisions followed by his position as the first boxer to win five world titles in five divisions. These honors also won him the nicknames of Hitman and Motor City Cobra.

In 1985, Hearns lost his three year old World Boxing Council junior middle weight title to Marvin Hagler. However, two years later, the boxer rose again to win both WBC lightweight and WBC middleweight titles. In 1988, Hearns faced a similar victory after he robbed James Kinchen off the World Boxing Organizations super middleweight title.

During the 1990s, Hearns boxing career came to a slowdown and he played less frequently. However, he still managed to name various titles to himself including the International Boxing Organization cruiserweight title in 1990, the WBA light heavyweight title in 1991 and the World Boxing Union cruiserweight title in 1995.

The spring of 2000

Lifestyle Facts

1961 - Wynton Marsalis

Wynton Learson Marsalis is renowned American musician, known for his trumpeting, composing and teaching abilities. Born on October 18, 1961 in New Orleans, Louisiana, United States, Marsalis has won almost 9 Grammy Awards promoting the sanctity and depth of Jazz and Classical music to young listeners. He is also familiar with the workings of the cornet, flumpet and flugelhorn, focusing most of musical passion in genres such as Jazz, post-bop, jazz poetry, classical and Baroque.

Wynton  Marsalis is a giant in the world of Jazz and Classical music, revered for his tremendous skill behind an instrument his first picked up when only six years of age. The 54 year old released his first album in 1982, and has been producing music and performing at acclaimed stages all around the world. Marsalis was raised in a musical family, with his father as a famous musician teacher and older brother serving in similar roles. By age 8, he was performing regularly in his church and by age 14, he had the opportunity to play with the New Orleans Philharmonic. He is the grandson of late businessman Ellis Marsalis, Sr., and brother of saxophonist Branford, trombonist Delfeayo, and drummer Jason. By his late teenage years, Marsalis’ skill was noticed by many top notch schools in the country. At age 17, he became the youngest musician to be accepted in the Tanglewood’s Berkshire Music Center in Lenox, Massachusetts. He joined the Juilliard School in New York soon after, eventually teaming up with Art Blakey and his band, the Jazz Messengers. His performances with the band made him a force to be reckoned with. Signing up a record deal with Columbia Records in 1982, he released a self-titled album in the same year marking the beginning of a long and prosperous career.

For the next three to four years, Marsalis would continually beat records in becoming the first musician to win Grammy awards in both the Classical and Jazz categories. He soon became one of only two artists to have won the Grammy for five consecutive years. His recognition

1926 - Chuck Berry

Charles Anderson Edward Berry, better known as Chuck Berry, is popularly considered the father of Rock ‘n’ Roll. He was born on October 18, 1926 in St. Louis, Missouri to Martha and Henry Berry, who were grandchildren of slaves. His ancestors had migrated from the rural south to Missouri to look for work during World War I. His parents were positive influences on Berry’s life; his mother was one of the very few African American women who had gained a college education and his father was an honest, hard working carpenter and an ordained minister of the Antioch Baptist Church. Berry grew up in an entirely segregated black community and hadn’t even encountered a white person until the age of three, when he saw white firemen putting out a fire. He later recalled his surprise at seeing them, thinking their skin had changed color due to fear.

Berry was a talented and energetic child, and was interested in music from childhood. He first began singing at his local church choir and later attended a prestigious private school called Sumner High School. There he performed in a school show where he sang a popular song accompanied by a friend on the guitar. The song was a huge hit with the student body and Berry then seriously began considering a career in music. He took guitar lessons from Ira Harris, who was a famous local jazz musician. However, he showed no inclination to study hard and his grades and performance at school began to suffer. At 17, he decided to quit high school and went on a road trip to California with two friends. During the trip, the three friends found a loaded gun in an abandoned parking lot and used it to rob three stores. They were found and arrested by the police and sentenced to 10 years in jail.

Berry served three years of jail time in Missouri and was then released due to his good behavior. He was released on his 21st birthday and went back to his family’s home to join his father’s business. He worked several jobs, including his father’s construction business, photography and janitor. A year

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