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American footballer and actor Fred "The Hammer" Williamson explored his upbringing and the journey that led to his prowess in professional sports and Hollywood. Born and raised in Gary, Indiana, as an only child, Williamson self-identified as a solitary figure who had to persistently prove himself despite perceived societal weakness for his careful appearance. After moving to Chicago, Williamson stayed determined, navigating through the disciplined culture of the time under the watchful eyes of parents and authority figures alike. After high school, Williamson joined the Marines before going on to Northwestern University on a track and field scholarship. However, the athletically gifted student was soon spotted by influential coaches who introduced him to football.