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Gonzalez, Pancholocked

(09 May 1928–03 July 1995)
  • Bruce L. Janoff

Extract

Gonzalez, Pancho (09 May 1928–03 July 1995), tennis player, was born Richard Alonzo Gonzalez in Los Angeles, California, the son of Manuel Gonzalez, a painter of houses and Hollywood movie sets, and Carmen Alire, a seamstress. Gonzalez’s parents, who emigrated from Chihuahua, Mexico, and settled in a poor section of Los Angeles, were determined to give their seven children a decent childhood in the dangerous barrios of South Los Angeles. After a boyhood accident on a scooter that left Gonzalez with a scar on his cheek several inches long, his parents refused to give the twelve-year-old the bicycle that he wanted. Instead, his mother bought him a 51-cent tennis racket. The restless, energetic Gonzalez quickly discovered his natural athletic ability and became obsessed with the game of tennis, which he learned in the public courts of Exposition Park near the Los Angeles Coliseum....

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