Lead Belly was born Huddie William Ledbetter on the Jeter Plantation near Mooringsport, Louisiana on January 20th, 1889. The actual date is unclear because the 1900 United States Census lists “Hudy William Ledbetter” as 12 years old, with a birth date of January 1888; the 1910 United States Census and the 1930 United States Census also list his birth year as 1888. However, in April 1942, Ledbetter filled out his World War II draft registration with a birth date of January 23, 1889.
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