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Connor, Bull (11 July 1897–10 March 1973), city commissioner and symbol of southern resistance to race reform, was born Theophilus Eugene Connor in Selma, Alabama, the son of Hugh King (or King Edward) Connor, a railroad dispatcher, and Molly Godwin. He spent his childhood years in several cities but each summer lived with relatives in Plantersville, Alabama, where he met Beara Levens, whom he married in 1920. They had one daughter. After attending school in Birmingham and Selma, Connor found employment with Western Union as a telegraph operator. He moved to New Orleans, then Memphis, and later Dallas, where in 1921 a chance to announce a telegraph-reported baseball game altered his life forever. Sportscasting suited Connor, whose ungrammatical expressions and folksy chatter caught the public’s fancy. In 1922 he opened a baseball matinee in Birmingham where people paid to hear him read “live” telegraph reports and thus call the games of the local team. An instant hit, Connor’s booming style landed him a job selling radios as the “Voice of the Birmingham Barons” and earned him the nickname “Bull.”...

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Croker, Richard (23 November 1843–29 April 1922), New York City political leader, was born in County Cork, Ireland, the son of Eyre Coote Croker, a blacksmith and veterinarian. Little is known of his mother, except that her maiden name was Wellstead. In 1846 the Crokers immigrated to the United States and, after a short sojourn in Cincinnati, settled in New York City. Richard attended public school intermittently until he was thirteen years old, when he began an apprenticeship as a machinist for the Harlem Railroad. Young Croker’s prowess with his fists won the admiration of neighborhood street gang members, and he became leader of the Fourth Avenue Tunnel Gang....