Dean Martin was born on June 7, 1917 in Steubenville, Ohio at
11:55 PM to Gaetano (Guy) and Angela Crocetti.
Along with older brother Bill, they attended Grant Elementary
School in Steubenville. Dean took to playing drums in his local Boy Scout
Dino (his real name) had his first Holy Communion on May 15,
1927 and took the name "Paul" as his confirmation (middle) name
on April 30, 1928.
Some 'official' biographies tell of Dean's graduation from Steubenville
High, but in reality, after moving around a lot, Dean quit in the tenth
grade. "It was because I thought I was smarter than the teacher!,"
In Dino's High School years, he had tried working at so many
jobs... a service station attendant, a shoe-shine boy, a store clerk, a
steel-mill worker, and even a pretty good amateur welterweight boxer and
prizefighter. Under the name of "Kid Crochet", Dino earned ten
dollars a match and sometimes up to twenty-five.
The "Great Depression" was in bloom, and young Dino
found himself delivering illegal liquor between state lines, sometimes selling
lottery tickets and booked small betting for people to earn money. This
led to the gambling establishments around Steubenville, where Dino became
an expert dealer and croupier. Hanging around these "gambling joints",
young Dino was exposed to the entertainers that came and went.