‘The man with 3legs, 4feet, 16toes, 2genitals’

His name is
Francesco (Frank) A. Lentini, born in Rosolini, Sicily, there in Italy, into a
family of twelve children, seven of which are sisters, four brothers and
himself. He became known for having three legs, four feet and two sets of B6
genitals. Thus, in total he had three legs, four feet, sixteen toes and two
sets of functioning male genitals.
He was born with
something called parasitic twin. The twin was attached to Frank’s body at the
base of his spine and consisted of a pelvis bone, a rudimentary set of male
genitalia and a full-sized leg extending from the right side of Frank’s hip,
with a small foot protruding from its knee. (As in picture below)

As a child, Frank
hated his extra limbs and appendages. Doctors determined that because of their
proximity to his spine, removal could have resulted in paralysis. Frank was
raised by his aunt after his parents refused to acknowledge him and she,
meaning well, enrolled the young Frank into a home for disabled children. While
he was there, he saw children far worse than he was. He saw children who could
not walk at all and he gained a new appreciation for life. Frank not only
learned to walk, he also ran, jumped rope, rode a bicycle and even ice skate.
His time at the home for disabled children was an experience he quoted for many
years as the major source of motivation to him.

By the time he was
six, Frank’s normal legs were slightly different in length—one was 39 inches,
the other 38 inches—but the third leg was only 36 inches, and the foot on it
was clubbed. Even more as an adult, while his extra leg was several inches
shorter than the others, his primary legs were also two different lengths. He
was heard to complain that even with three legs, he still didn’t have a pair.
Right at age eight,
Frank’s family moved to the United States. Frank then entered the sideshow
business as The Great Frank, joining the Ringling Brothers Circus act.
Frank arrived in
America and became an instant sensation. He charmed crowds with his keen wit
and sense of humor. He wowed audiences with his unusual agility as well. He had
amazing control over his extra appendage. During performances Frank was well
known for kicking a soccer ball about with the strange limb, hence his show
name, the Three-Legged Football Player.
He gained US
citizenship at the age of 30. His career spanned over forty years and he worked
with every major circus and sideshow. Frank was so respected among his peers
that he was often called “The King”.

In 1907 he married
to Theresa Murray, three years younger than himself, and they had four
children: Josephine, Natale, James, Frank Jnr. When Frank and Theresa separated
about 1935, he began a new life with Helen Shupe with whom he lived until his

He would conduct
interviews while propped up on his extra limb, using it as a stool. He fielded
questions ranging from his innocent hobbies to the particulars of his sex life.
He was also often asked about his shoes. People wondered if it was difficult to
buy shoes in a set of three. Showing his mental sharpness, he always revealed
that he bought two pairs and gave the extra one to a one-legged friend.
Frank died of lung
failure in Jacksonville, Florida, on September 21, 1966, at the age of 77.


About The Author: Adeshile Adekolajo

Adekolajo is a graduate from the University of Abuja, He works for Ntel
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Oluwole Olusanya
Oluwole Olusanya is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of one of the fastest-growing lifestyle and entertainment website in the country. He is a banker, writer, blogger, public affairs analyst and a tax consultant. He anchors Trending Topics on SHEFFA where he shares his thoughts and opinions on trending issues. He is currently studying for a Master’s Degree in Business Administration at the University of South Wales, Wales, United Kingdom. He has diplomas in Banking and Finance, Investigative Journalism, Creative Writing, and Linguistics from Lagos State Polytechnic, Isolo, Lagos, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Scotland and The Open University, Milton Keynes, United Kingdom.