Famous veteran Mr. T.
“When you find a really tough guy, he’s not a predator. He doesn’t have to prove himself. Guys who have to pretend to be tough, they ain’t. I’m tough.”
Before he nearly pounded Rocky Balboa into submission in Rocky III, and went on to fame as B.A. Baracus on the hit TV show A-Team, Mr. T was a member of the biggest team of them all — the U.S. Army. Originally known as Laurence Tureaud, Mr. T served in the Army’s Military Police Corps in the mid-70s. In November 1975 he was awarded a letter of recommendation by his drill sergeant, and in a cycle of six thousand troops he was elected “Top Trainee of the Cycle” and promoted to Squad Leader. In July 1976 his platoon sergeant punished him by giving him the detail of chopping down trees during training camp at Fort McCoy in Wisconsin, but the sergeant did not specify how many trees that were to be cut down — so Tureaud single-handedly chopped down over 70 trees in the span of three and a half hours before being relieved of the detail.
After his discharge from the Army, Tureaud tried out for the NFL’s Green Bay Packers but failed to make the team because of a knee injury. However, his Army police training served him well in his next job, as a bouncer at Chicago nightclubs, where he began cultivating his ultra-tough “Mr. T” persona (the famous gold chains he wears were a result of picking up discarded jewelry from the nightclub every night). Perhaps the first “celebrity bodyguard,” and certainly one of the most famous, Mr. T eventually found fame in the movies and TV, and currently lives in L.A.
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