Lenny Bruce: The Berkeley Concert

Lenny Bruce (October 13, 1925 – August 3, 1966), born Leonard Alfred Schneider, was an American stand-up comedian, writer, social critic and satirist of the 1950s and 1960s. His 1964 conviction in an obscenity trial led to the first posthumous pardon in New York history. Bruce was born in Mineola, New York, grew up in nearby Bellmore and attended Wellington C. Mepham High School. His youth was chaotic; his parents divorced when he was five years old and Lenny moved in with various relatives over the next decade. His mother, Sally Marr (née Sadie Kitchenberg), was a stage performer who had an enormous influence on Bruce's career. After spending time working on a farm with a family that provided the stable surroundings he needed, he joined the United States Navy at the age of 17 in 1942, and saw active duty in Europe until his discharge in 1946. In 1947, soon after changing his last name to Bruce, he earned $12 and a free spaghetti dinner for his first stand-up performance in Brooklyn,...

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