Mr. T - known from Rocky 3 and the "A-Team"

Mr. T is born on May 21, 1952, on the south side of Chicago. His mother was a maid, and his father was a minister. He is the youngest of seven brothers and four sisters. T wanted to focus on the positive.  It was around the age of 18 that T decided to make himself more identifiable by renaming himself. Seeing the social conditions that surrounded his family was what drove him to become Mr. T. After graduating from high school, T went on to college. He was a college football star, studied martial arts, and was three times city wrestling champion! He then joined the army to be in the military police, but was kicked out for having conflicts with his drill sergeant. From then on, Mr.T was a bouncer at a disco. It was from being a bouncer that Mr.T got his claim to fame. He won the America's Toughest Bouncer contest, and was seen on the news by Sylvester Stallone, who had his people contact Mr. T. However, his intention for the contest itself was not even to win, but for a higher purpose.

After years of success with "Rocky 3" and then the "A-Team", Mr. T was diagnosed with cancer in 1995, the rare T-cell Lymphoma, CD 30. Continuing in his faith, he knows the path to take to overcome. "Don't quit. When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. When life gives you crap, make fertilizer," said T. "If I wasn't strong enough like I am spiritually, it would've broke me. Me dealing with cancer, me dealing with people lying. All that, still standing strong."

Mr. T isn't afraid of flying as in the "A-Team". "When you have the perfect love of Jesus Christ you have no fear." "I don't fear nothing. I don't carry a gun, I don't have bodyguards around me. If God is for me, who in the world can stand against me? God is on my side, and that's all I need." Mr. T  speaks often in churches and studies the Bible and prays daily.

Mr. T.: "I'm an inspiration, because I'm a product of the ghetto. I was born and raised in the ghetto. But the ghetto wasn't born and raised in me. I come from a family of 12. I've got seven brothers and four sisters. I never robbed nobody, I never raped nobody, I didn't use drugs. That's the message I give to the kids now: "What's slowing you down? Why can't you make it? You can make it if you want." I love and respect my mother, and that's the message I tell the kids. They need to know that Mr. T is real, and that's the advantage we have. Batman, Rifleman, Superman, Iron Man, Tin Man, they might be nice guys, but they're not real. They can't go into schools. They can't go into the neighbourhoods. But my record speaks for itself. I've been around for years, preaching the same message. I didn't just start doing this today. Not like some people that have a movie coming out, so they go visit kids in the hospital. You don't need that phony crap. All of these celebrities, they turn my stomach with their funny stuff. I've been going in the ghettos without the press, without bodyguards and talking to kids. "Get to reading, stay in school. You don't have to carry a gun."

"I know about peer pressure and all that, but I say, "Hey, they called me a sissy because I wouldn't join a gang. Who was calling me a sissy? Does it make me a sissy because somebody called me a sissy?" That's the same thing with race. "Does that make you a nigger if somebody called you a nigger? Does that make you a honky or a redneck if somebody called you that?" No. They need a man like me to tell them. I'm tough and tender at the same time. I'm tough enough to fight them, and I'm not afraid of nothing. I'm not even afraid of death. But at the same time, it's not about fighting. I'm going to fight if hurt me or do harm to my family. But if you call me a bad name, I'm too smart for that. That's the message the kids need to hear coming from me. I tell them, "If I fought every time somebody called me a name, I would never get out of jail. But I'm disciplined. I'm smarter than that."

"I want to be like Jesus. I want to feed 5,000. I wish that I could touch babies so that they could be healed. But the doctor told me, "Mr. T, you healing them by coming here, putting a smile on their faces." I say, like Jesus said, "I come for the sick." The well don't need a doctor."

"One of the biggest problems in society (is that) people can't pray."

"I've been fighting cancer for five years. How do I keep my faith? Well, before I was talkin'it, but now I'm walkin' it. We've got to show our faith by our lives. I needed cancer to test my faith. I love kids and God used my cancer to show me how to minister to them. I've worked with a lot of kids in organizations like Make A Wish Foundation. I used to visit those kids and try to cheer them up and give them faith to keep going. Then when I got cancer, I had to have faith in the same God I had told them about. It really opened my eyes." Mr. T firmly believes God made it possible for him to be an actor so he could share God's love with people who may not have any other opportunity to hear it. "God put me in this position, and I hope people will be thinking about their relationship with the Lord."

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