Joe Frazier was the 12th child born to his parents. His father’s name was Rubin Frazier and mother was Dolly Alston Frazier. Joe Frazier’s hometown was Beaufort, South Carolina, he was born there. He lived in his local rural community of Beaufort called Laurel Bay and his family worked as sharecroppers. Joe always told that he was very close to his father. He remembered that his father carried him to their farmland of 10 acres when he was a child. They shared their farmland with Buck and Jenny. He often said that their land was called “white dirt” because it was a wasteland as they only can grow cotton and watermelons. He was not well with the white folks. His father got in an accident and burned his left hand.
He remembered that in early 1950’s his father bought a black and white T.V for the first time and the entire neighborhood would come to their house to watch boxing matches. This made an impact in the young Frazier. He was drawn towards boxing and was healthy and well-built from childhood. The kids from his schools would give him their sandwich and or a quarter to walk them in the school so as to protect them from the bullies. Frazier always said, “Any Scamboogah who got in my face would regret soon”. He was called as Billie Boy in childhood in his family. After watching boxing on the T.V. he filled old sack bag with rags, corncobs and a brick. He hung that bag in the oak tree in the backyard. He used to hit that bag every day for 1-2 hours. He said that he used to wrap his hands with the necktie of his father or a stocking of his mother or sister.
There was an incident with his left arm. One he poked his family hog and ran. The pigpen was open and the hog chased him. A 300-pound hog was chasing him. He fell with his left arm on a brick that broke his arm. They were poor so they did not have the money to go to a doctor and give charges to medically heal his arm. So his arm was left to heal naturally. After this accident, he was not able to fully straighten his arm.
At the age of 15, he also started to work on a farm for a white family named Bellamy. He started to support his family. The white family was of two brothers and one of them named Jim was a little backwards and rough. He once beat up a 12-year-old working boy in his farm. Joe told his friends that incident. Jim saw him doing that and asked him why he did that and said that he will beat him up with his whip. Joe told him that he did not know what he was talking about. Then Jim Bellamy told him to leave his farm at once to which he left the farm. He then decided to move to New York where his brother lived but he did not have the money for the ticket. He then started to work at a local coca cola plant then he got work at a local construction site. After nine months of the hard work and patience, he collected money and said goodbyes to his family and started a new journey of his life never to look back. He still remembers “It was 1959 and I was 15 years old and on my own”.