B.I.G.’s Early Life
Wallace was born at St. Mary’s Hospital in the Brooklyn borough of New York City on May 21, 1972, the only child of Jamaican immigrant parents. His mother, Voletta Wallace, was a preschool teacher, while his father, Selwyn George Latore, was a welder and politician. His father left the family when Wallace was two years old, and his mother worked two jobs while raising him.
Wallace grew up at 226 St. James Place in Brooklyn’s Clinton Hill, near the border with Bedford-Stuyvesant. Raised Catholic, Wallace excelled at Queen of All Saints Middle School, winning several awards as an English student. He attended St Peter Claver Church in the borough. He was nicknamed “Big” because he was overweight by the age of 10. Wallace claimed to have begun dealing drugs at about age 12. His mother, often at work, first learned of this during his adulthood.