In fifth grade, he was known as the dummy of his class. It was taken for granted that Ben could take an entire quiz and miss every question. “I was most likely to end up in jail, reform school, or the grave.”
Holding two to three jobs, his illiterate mother noticed that the wealthy families she worked for invested their time reading books rather than watching television. She made her two boys turn off the television, read two books a week from the Detroit Public Library, and submit book reports to her. They didn’t know their mother could not read. She made marks on the reports anyway.