This Day in Black History: Sept. 25, 1968

Actor and rapper Will Smith was born in Philadelphia.

Posted: 09/25/2014 12:00 AM EDT

One of the world's most famous entertainers, Willard Christopher Smith Jr. was born on Sept. 25, 1968, in Philadelphia. His parents raised him in the West Philadelphia neighborhood. He was given the nickname "Prince" for his charming personality, which helped him get out of trouble.

While in high school Smith met Jeff Townes at a party. They became friends and formed the hip hop duo the Fresh Prince and DJ Jazzy Jeff. They eventually took home the first Grammy given for a rap performance for their album He's the DJ, I'm the Rapper. With success in music, Smith was able to cross over into acting and starred in the popular sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.

Later, Smith transitioned into the silver screen, starring in blockbuster films Independence DayMen in Black, Enemy of the State and others. His starring roles in Ali and The Pursuit of Happyness are considered his career standouts.  

Smith has three children. Willard Smith III, also known as Trey, from his first marriage, which lasted three years. He has been married to actress Jada Pinkett Smith since 1997. The couple's son, Jaden, and daughter, Willow, are both rising entertainers.

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(Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

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