Beryl Rosofsky was born to Jewish immigrants from Belarus. His father operated a small grocery store in Chicago’s Maxwell Street Area and was fatally shot during a holdup in 1923. The event changed the course of Rosofsky’s life. He became involved in petty crime and street sparring and changed his name to Barney Ross. In 1927 he began training at Davey Miller’s boxing club and within two years he had turned pro. Over his career, Barney Ross lost only four fights and held junior welterweight, lightweight, and welterweight championship titles. Ross took a strong public stand against Nazism, and, after retiring from boxing, he enlisted in the Marines and was awarded a silver star for fighting heroically at Guadalcanal.