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*Dennis Rodman was born on born this date in 1961. He is a Black former professional basketball player.
Dennis Keith Rodman was born in Trenton, New Jersey, the son of Shirley and Philander Rodman, Jr., an Air Force enlisted man who later fought in the Vietnam War. When he was young, his father left his family, eventually settling in the Philippines. Rodman has many brothers and sisters: according to his father, he has either 26 or 28 siblings on his father's side. However, Rodman has stated that he is the oldest of 47 children.
After his father left, his mother took many odd jobs to support the family, up to four simultaneously. Rodman and his two sisters, Debra and Kim, grew up in the Oak Cliff section of Dallas, at the time, one of the poorest areas of the city. Rodman's mother gave him the nickname "The Worm" for how he wiggles while playing pinball. Rodman was so attached to his mother that he refused to move when she sent him to a nursery when he was four. According to Rodman, his mom was more interested in his two sisters, considered more talented than in basketball, making him a laughingstock whenever he tagged along with them.
He was generally "overwhelmed" by the all-female household. She would become an All-American at Louisiana Tech University and Stephen F. Austin University. While attending South Oak Cliff High School, he was not considered an athletic standout. At 5 ft 6 as a freshman in high school, he failed to make the football teams. After finishing high school, Rodman worked as an overnight janitor at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport. He then experienced a sudden growth spurt to 6 ft 7 in and decided to try basketball again, despite becoming even more withdrawn because he felt odd in his own body. A family friend tipped off the head coach of Cooke County College (now North Central Texas College). He averaged 17.6 points and 13.3 rebounds before flunking out due academically.
During college, Rodman worked at a summer youth basketball camp, where he befriended camper Byrne Rich, who was shy and withdrawn due to a hunting accident in which he mistakenly shot and killed his best friend. The two became almost inseparable and formed a close bond. Rich invited Rodman to his rural Oklahoma home; at first, Rodman was not well-received by the Richs because he was black. Although Rodman had severe family and personal issues, he "adopted" the Riches in 1982 and went from city life to "driving a tractor and messing with cows."
He transferred to Southeastern Oklahoma State University. Rodman was a three-time NAIA All-American and led the NAIA in rebounding twice (1985, 1986). In 1986 he led his team to the NAIA semifinals, where he scored 46 points in a single game while grabbing a tournament-tying record of 32 rebounds. This helped get him invited to the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament, a pre-draft camp for NBA hopefuls. He won Most Valuable Player honors and caught the attention of the Detroit Pistons. Though Rodman credited the Riches as his "surrogate family" that helped him through college, as of 2013, he had stopped communicating with the Rich family for reasons unknown to them.
Rodman had an unhappy childhood and was shy and introverted in his early years. He wore a wedding dress to promote his 1996 autobiography Bad As I Wanna Be. In the book, he expresses his feelings for his father: "I haven't seen my father in more than 30 years, so what's there to miss ... I just look at it like this: Some man brought me into this world. That doesn't mean I have a father". After aborting a suicide attempt in 1993, he reinvented himself as a "bad boy" and became notorious for numerous controversial antics. He repeatedly dyed his hair in artificial colors, had many piercings and tattoos, and regularly disrupted games by clashing with opposing players and officials. He would not meet his father again until 2012.
Rodman played as the small forward in his early years before becoming a power forward. He was known for his defensive and rebounding abilities. Rodman played for the Detroit Pistons, San Antonio Spurs, Chicago Bulls, Los Angeles Lakers, and Dallas Mavericks of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He earned seven NBA All-Defensive First Team honors and won the NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award twice. He also led the NBA in rebounds per game for seven consecutive years and won five NBA championships. He retired from basketball in 2000. On April 1, 2011, the Pistons retired his No. 10 jersey, and he was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame later that year.
In addition to being a former professional basketball player, Rodman is a former part-time professional wrestler and actor. He had his TV show, The Rodman World Tour, and led roles in Double Team (1997) and Simon Sez (1999). Both films were critically panned, with the former earning Rodman a triple Razzie Award. He appeared in several reality TV series and won the $222,000 main prize of the 2004 edition of Celebrity Mole. Rodman chased a high-profile affair with singer Madonna and was briefly married to actress Carmen Electra. Rodman also attracted international attention for his visits to North Korea and his subsequent befriending of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in 2013.