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Berry Gordy Jr was born in Detroit Michigan on November 28 1929 He was the seventh born out of eight siblings His parents migrated to Detroit from Georgia during 1922 They were part of a mass exodus of African Americans who left the South in the 20s and traveled to northern cities in search of better economic futures During that time jobs were plentiful in the factories mainly the big four automotive plants that like Chrysler Ford Chevrolet and General Motors Berry and Bertha Gordy would instill in Berry Jr and his brothers and sisters a strong work ethic and a belief that anything could be achieved through persistence His family also had deep roots in business Berry Sr owned a plastering and carpentry service a general store and a printing business Gordys family believed in the philosophy of Booker T Washington which stressed economic independence for blacks Gordy Sr named his store after him Berry Gordy Jr was heavily influenced by the ambition of his father Like his father he was also very determined and he tried many new ventures Berry was an average student who earned decent grades Despite this he decided to drop out of Northeastern High School to peruse a featherweight boxing career He once even fought on the same card as the great Joe Louis He had a brief but successful series of fights but decided to give up boxing in 1951 That same year he would then decide to try out the Army He served for two years during the Korean War there he earned his high school equivalency diploma After his short stint in the army he decided to open a record store which only sold jazz records Berry always enjoyed listening to records in his basement and he had a great love of music Berry always hung around Detroits popular nightspots to hear the bebop jazz sounds He was able to see
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