Born Rocco Francis Marchegiano in Brockton, Massachuesetts, on September 1, 1923, Marciano won the heavyweight championship by defeating Jersey Joe Walcott for the title on September 23, 1952.
Rocky Marciano was a champion in civilian life and in the Army, receiving high honors for his achievements in both areas.
Drafted into the U.S. Army in 1943, Marciano was assigned to the 150th Combat Engineers. He was stationed in Wales where he was involved in operations on the English Channel. The 150th was awarded service stars for Normandy, North France, Rheinland, Ardennes-Asace and Central Europe.
In March 1943, Marciano was drafted into the army for a term of two years. Stationed in Swansea, Wales, he helped ferry supplies across the English Channel to Normandy. After the war ended, he completed his service in March 1946 at Fort Lewis, Washington.
It was in the Army that Marciano first boxed, starting with unofficial bouts, and working up to junior amateur by the time of his discharge in 1947. After failing a tryout for catcher with the Chicago Cubs, baseball team, Marciano returned to boxing. His record was 49 wins, no losses.