This is Francesco Lentini. Frank was a Sicilian born man with 3 legs, 4 feet, and 2 full sets of male genitalia.
Frank was actually supposed to have been a twin, but when his sibling passed away in utero Frank’s body absorbed his sibling; the parasitic twin is what had caused Frank’s birth defects. But back in the late 1800s (his actual date of birth is up for debate, though it was in the 1880s) most people didn’t possess any decent understanding of these types of things. It’s said that the midwife who delivered Frank actually placed him under the bed, then ran from the delivery room screaming.
It was once thought that people with physical differences must be mentally disabled as well, and most children with differences such as Frank’s would’ve been placed in an institution. Thankfully Frank’s parents had been truly decent people; they loved their son and did everything they could to help him.
The Lentinis had originally hoped to have the extra leg removed, but since it had been located so closely to the spine a doctor determined that the risk was too high. What else could the Lentini family do but make peace with the situation? They accepted it as life, but this didn’t make the family’s neighbors any kinder. While Frank was called a monster, it was reasoned that his mother must’ve done something to cause this. Giovanna must’ve had a 3 legged table built during her pregnancy, there must be some reason for her son to have been cursed by God.
Though all three legs had been different sizes, the third leg was much shorter so he couldn’t use it for walking. While this limb shot out from one of his hips, a very small fourth foot came from one of his knees. As a child Frank did his best to conceal his extra leg by keeping it in a box. The older he got the more difficult this became; Frank learned to wear baggy pants, tie his third leg to one of the others, and simply pretend that it didn’t exist. Giovanna had been the one to sew her son’s clothing, in case you were wondering.
So Frank went on about life, doing the best he could. He learned that there was very little he couldn’t do; Frank could play most sports, he could skate, swim like a fish, ride a bike, you name it. It doesn’t seem that Frank’s extra parts hindered him much, except while out in public. People are cruel, and it’s said that Frank was sent to live with his aunt and uncle for a bit, just to get him away from the bullying.
While in Frank’s hometown for a show a puppeteer named Mr. Magnano had taken notice of the boy, he said that if Frank could make it to the states that he could join the circus. So his parents began to save their money, and in 1898 the family moved to the US; one year later Frank was traveling with Ringling Brothers, he was approximately 8 years old.
Frank had absolutely adored the circus, and he loved to perform; he became known far and wide for not only kicking a football with his third leg, but also for his outstanding personality. He could throw jokes around with the best of comedians, spoke 4 languages, and he wasn’t what you’d call bashful. No subject had been off limits – none! Considering the man had two functioning penises during this painfully uptight time period, it’s no wonder everyone was so interested! Frank capitalized on his differences, even sold little books at his shows about his life – and about sex. He became very wealthy, and famous.
Frank had loved the ladies, and the ladies had loved him back. His first marriage had been to an actress named Theresa Murray, and with this lady he fathered 4 children. The marriage didn’t last forever, but Frank had no problem finding love again.
This extraordinary man passed away in 1966 of lung failure, he had lived to see his mid 70s. Frank had loved the circus, he’d enjoyed performing and the life he’d made for himself. Though he did eventually settle down in Florida, he couldn’t be kept from his work; as a matter of fact, Frank had been traveling when he got sick and passed away. What a life this man lived – The Great Lentini!