Sammy Davis Jr.

By: Metta Nordman

The Beginning of a Wonderful Career

Sammy Davis Jr. was born on December 8th, 1925, in New York City. He lived with his grandmother until he as three-years-old, which was when his parents split up. Afterwards, he lived with his father, who worked as an entertainer in a dance troupe. Later on, he performed with his father and his adopted uncle in what soon became known as the Will Mastin Trio.

The Sound of Music

Sammy Davis was in the entertainment unit during World War 2. After World War 2, he continued to perform, because he saw that when he would sing and dance, he brought joy to the people around him. In 1950, Sammy Davis went solo and produced 2 albums, which caused him to become a headliner in New York and Los Vegas. He was also a huge star on Broadway. He performed in the musicals Mr. Wonderful and in Golden Boy. He was also in the movies Porgy and Bess in 1959, and in the Rat Pack movies during the 1960's.

The Fight Against Segregation

Being a black performer during the 1950's was very rough. Sammy Davis Jr. was a very big activist of civil rights. He marched in all the important marches in Washington and strongly agreed with Martin Luther King Jr. He also would not perform in facilities that practiced segregation, which caused most of the places to stop practicing segregation because he was such a famous performer.

The End of an Important Life

Sammy Davis Jr. was married to a Swedish actress named May Britt in 1960. They had one daughter and two adopted sons. They were married for 8 years. Sammy Davis married a second time in 1970 to a dancer named Altovise Davis. 30 years later, on May 16, 1990, Sammy Davis Jr. died of cancer at age 64. But he will never be forgotten because he will live on in the music that he created, and in the joy that he made others feel.