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Born in 1940 as Richard Starkey in the Dingle, one of Liverpools most gritty, rough-and-tumble neighbourhoods, he rose from a hardscrabble childhood marked by serious illnesses, long hospital stays, and little schooling to emerge, against all odds, as a locally renowned drummer. Taking the stage name Ringo Starr, his big break with the Beatles rocketed him to the pinnacle of worldwide acclaim in a remarkably short time. He was the last member of the Beatles to join the group but also the most vulnerable, and his post-Beatles career was marked by chart-topping successes, a jet-setting life of excess and alcohol abuse, and, ultimately, his rebirth as one of rock s revered elder statesman.
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