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November 25, 1914
March 8, 1999
Joe DiMaggio was the eighth child out of nine to be born to his parents Giuseppe and Rosalie DiMaggio. They were a Sicilian couple who immigrated to the United States at the turn of the century. Joe DiMaggio threw and batted right and was nicknamed the Yankee Clipper. He had an interesting childhood which consisted of him dropping out of high school in 1930 and taking on many odd jobs while spending every chance he got playing baseball. He bottled orange juice, labored at the docks, worked at a cannery, delivered groceries, and loaded trucks.
Finally, in 1933, on a recommendation from his older brother Vince, DiMaggio played his first full season of baseball with the San Francisco Seals, a minor league team from the Pacific Coast League. He had a 61-game hitting streak his first year. The following year, in 1934, the Seals owner sold DiMaggio to the New York Yankees for $25,000 and five players. What followed was a slew of broken records beginning with his rookie year and ending with his retirement.
In November of 1939, DiMaggio married actress Dorothy Arnold who was 21 at the time. Two years later their son, Joe Jr., was born in Newark, New Jersey. Two years later, in 1943, as his ulcer getting increasingly worse, Dorothy filed for divorce saying that DiMaggio was never home.
During this time, DiMaggio had a 56 consecutive-game hitting streak with the Yankees . . . an incredible feat. In December 1951, DiMaggio announced his retirement at age 37 claiming he had lost his edge.
In January 1954, DiMaggio and Marilyn Monroe are married at San Francisco City Hall, only to get divorced nine months later. DiMaggio was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1955. At Baseballs Centennial Celebration in 1969, he was named the games greatest living player and Babe Ruth was voted the greatest player of all time.
In 1998, Joe DiMaggio made his last appearance at Yankee Stadium where his former teammate Phil Rizzuto presented him with replacements for the eight World Series rings that were stolen from his hotel room in 1960. In 1999, only five months after being diagnosed with lung cancer, Joe DiMaggio died at age 84. His accomplishments will be remembered by baseball fans nationwide.
Additional Learning Links
Baseball Hall of Fame Website
Youll find all you need to know, including stats and facts about the games most influential players. Do a search for Joe DiMaggio and youll have access to his online biography.
Source: Baseball Hall of Fame Website
American Experience P.B.S.
Explore Joe DiMaggios life through interview transcripts, newspaper articles, an online poll, a timeline, book excerpts, an interactive map of his 56 game hitting streak, special events, and a special teachers guide to using the website and film in the classroom.
Source: The Heros Life American Experience P.B.S.
Find more information on Joe DiMaggio with help from Google.
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