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1930s & Earlier / Three Legged Man Frank Lentini
Sicilian-born Francesco (Frank) Lentini was a familiar figure in the early years of the 20th century for an obvious reason: He was born with three legs. One of the legs was malformed (probably from a twin that did not develop properly in his mother's womb). It served no useful purpose other than providing Lentini with a portable stool! Lentini's father was ashamed of him and exiled him from home. Lentini grew up withdrawn and depressed until he visited a home for the handicapped and saw children who were far worse off than he was. He emigrated to America in 1898 at the age of nine. Billed as the Three-Legged Wonder, Lentini appeared in Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show and Ringling Brothers' circus. Lentini eventually married and fathered four normal children. He died in Florida in 1966 at the age of 77.