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Daniel Rodríguez: 1964—: Former Law Enforcement Officer, Singer

Abandoned Singing Career To Support Family

Daniel Rodríguez was born in 1964 in Sunset Park, a neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York, to Puerto Rican parents. His father worked for the New York Transit Authority. "We weren't rich, but we had a sense of family," Rodríguez told HispanicOnline.com. "My father had eight brothers and sisters, my mom had ten. Holidays were great!" At family parties his father enjoyed singing, and young Rodríguez soon followed in his footsteps. As a student at Dewey Junior High School, Rodríguez chose a theater class and was soon studying with a Manhattan repertory company. In addition to performing onstage, Rodríguez learned the ins and outs of backstage production, doing everything from set design to lighting. His vocal abilities soon attracted the attention of prestigious singing coach Elliot Dorfman, who offered 12-year-old Rodríguez free lessons. Five years later Rodríguez performed at Carnegie Hall and a career in music seemed attainable. However, at age 19 he had become a husband and father. With a family to support, singing became a luxury. "I went to work," he told the Cleveland, Ohio, Plain Dealer. "I did odd jobs. I was a short-order cook." For the next several years Rodríguez didn't sing at all. It was a bleak period for a man who has repeatedly described himself in interviews as a ham.

At a Glance . . .

Born in 1964 in Brooklyn, NY; married twice; second marriage to Ginamarie; children: Jai-Lisa, Daniel Jr.

Career: New York City, postal worker, 1989-95; New York City Police Department, police officer, 1996-02; singer, 2001–.

Addresses: Home—Staten Island, New York, NY. Web-site—www.angelrecords.com.

At age 25 Rodríguez decided to give show business another go. A long time fan of Broadway music, he created and produced his own revue, Broadway Magic. "I went out and rented a hall, hired a piano player, printed up tickets, sold them, manned the door, then went onstage and sang," he told HispanicOnline. "I made $100. That proved to me I could do it." However, the money he earned that night was hardly enough to support himself, much less his children. He then undertook a disastrous stint as a cabinet maker. "They gave me a drill, a screw gun and a pencil to cover up my mistakes. I went through more pencils!," he told HispanicOnline. He next decided to follow in his father's footsteps and seek a city job. "I took the sanitation, police, post office, and court officer civil-service tests," he told the Plain Dealer. The post office was the first to hire him, and he stayed with them for six years. However, he was not satisfied. "I was always looking for excitement in my life," he told the Plain Dealer. When a spot on the police force came up in 1995, he was quick to pin on a badge.

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Brief BiographiesBiographies: Dudley Randall Biography - A Poet from an Early Age to Ferrol Sams Jr BiographyDaniel Rodríguez: 1964—: Former Law Enforcement Officer, Singer Biography - Abandoned Singing Career To Support Family, Became New York's "singing Cop", Launched A Full-time Singing Career