Wikipedia on Mr. T:
Tureaud next worked as a bouncer. It was at this time that he created the persona of Mr. T. His wearing of gold neck chains and other jewelry was the result of customers losing the items or leaving them behind at the night club after a fight. A customer, who may have been banned from the club or trying to avoid another confrontation, would not have to re-enter the club if Mr. T wore their jewelry as he stood out front. When a customer returned to claim the item, it was readily visible and available with no further confrontations required.His Wikipedia page reads like an American tall tale:
He then enlisted in the United States Army and served in the Military Police Corps. In July 1976 Tureaud's platoon sergeant punished him by giving him the detail of chopping down trees during training camp at Fort McCoy in Wisconsin, but the sergeant did not tell how many trees to stop at, and so Tureaud had single-handedly chopped down over seventy trees from 6:30am to 10:00am until a higher ranking major in shock relieved him, superseding the sergeant's orders.And his real life was more interesting than the A-Team:
He eventually parlayed his job as a bouncer into a career as a bodyguard that lasted almost ten years. During these years he protected, among others, sixteen prostitutes, nine welfare recipients, five preachers, eight bankers, ten school teachers, and four store owners. As his reputation improved, however, he was contracted to guard, among others, David Fricker, seven clothes designers, five models, seven judges, three politicians, six athletes, and forty-two millionaires. He protected well-known personalities like Muhammad Ali, Steve McQueen, Michael Jackson, Leon Spinks, Joe Frazier and Diana Ross, charging $3,000/day. with the highest charge of $10,000 per day depending on the clientele's risk-rate and traveling locations. With his reputation as "Mr.T", Tureaud attracted strange offers and was frequently approached with odd commissions, which included: assassination, tracking runaway teenagers, locating missing persons, and large firms asking him to collect past-due payments by force.His autobiography is available at Amazon.