Ben Davis (American football)

Ben Davis (American Football)

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Ben Davis (American football)

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Benjamin Frank "Ben" Davis (born October 30, 1945) is a former professional American football cornerback and return specialist for ten years in the National Football League.

Early years

Benjamin Davis was born in 1945 in Birmingham, Alabama. His father, a graduate of St. Augustine's College, a traditional black college in Raleigh, North Carolina, was briefly a high school history teacher, but found it more lucrative to own and operate a service station in the black section of Birmingham. His mother, with an MA from New York University, was an elementary school teacher. The family owned a large home in a middle class mixed neighborhood called "Dynamite Hill" after so-called "night rider" terrorists began bomb attacks on civil rights leaders clustered there.

To avoid the racial strife for which Dynamite Hill was named, children in the Davis family spent time with friends and relatives elsewhere. Ben graduated from a New Jersey high school at the age of 15, then marked time by attending a prep school in Maine until he was old enough to enroll in Defiance College in rural Defiance, Ohio.

“I went to Defiance because I was looking for the same type of environment as the prep school,” Davis told Fred Greetham in 2001. “I was in the band in high...
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