Born to Jewish Polish immigrants, the father shortened their actual surname to something sounding more American and with less consonants as part of their effort to blend into the so called 'melting pot' that the United States was often called. It wasn't that easy though and for Daniel's parents is a very difficult adjustment to make a go of it in their newly adopted land.
Daniel however was born in Miami and, other than what his parents and older sister told him, knew nothing of the old country and the old ways. Oh he could understand and speak Polish of course because his mother especially had not done well with learning English. Stubborness his father claimed. But he spoke English to everyone else and most people would not guess him to be a first generation immigrant.
Yes, he was Jewish but he and, to some extent, his older sister were not very religious about it. It was a source of frustration between the two generations. His older sister actually got a diploma from one of the many schools of business popular back then. It was nothing like a college degree but it did prepare young women for secretarial work. Daniel was at best an average student in the public schools he attended, mostly because he didn't particularly care about education though he was bright enough. The motivation just wasn't there.
He was possessed with another hopeful future, he wanted to be a boxer. It had started back when he was thirteen and got into a fight with a bigger older boy. He won and he won easily. He had not started the trouble but found the physical combat had actually been exciting and yes, enjoyable. As best he could he began to follow the sport of boxing at all levels.
His mother disapproved but his father he convinced to permit him to join Golden Gloves amateur boxing. Again he did well. He was gangly but agile and his height actually gave him a reach advantage compared to most opponents of his weight class. His father even attended one of his fights and grudgingly saw that his son did seem to be in his element.
As soon as he became eighteen he decided to join the professional ranks. Before he could even figure it all out, as to how one transitioned to that career, he ran into an unintended road block. He was arrested for burglary.
Daniel had hung around with a few fellow Jewish friends and one of them had been involved in a series of petty crimes including breaking and entering. Daniel never participated in any of it. But one day the police picked him for a residential burglary. He denied it vehemently but to no avail. It all happened very fast, his father could not afford an attorney, there were apparently a pair of eyewitnesses who would place him at the scene of the crime. The DA pressured him to just admit to a guilty plea and throw himself on the mercy of the judge. He did and it got him two years in a prison farm.
He hated it there, it was hard work in harsh conditions but he did his best to not make waves. Fortunately he was paroled after serving fifteen months. Once out he went back to what he wanted to do with his life.
An older retired cop, who had once been a boxer, agreed to become his trainer, a vital first step. He then won his first fight, a second round knockout. Honestly, his opponent hadn't been any good but a win was a win. His next pair of fights were rather similar. He looked good in the ring, he managed to do enough damage to win both without absorbing a lot of punishment himself.
He was beginning to draw the attention of the local boxing community. Life was looking up.