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Bronzeville, Near South Side

Bo Diddley’s Childhood Home In Bronzeville Badly Damaged In Fire

The fire broke out at an apartment on Langley Ave.

Bo Diddley playing at the Lobero Theater in Santa Barbara. His childhood home (left) caught fir Monday.
Chicago Fire Department/Scott Williams
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GRAND BOULEVARD — A fire swept through a three-story apartment building that once was home to singer and guitarist Bo Diddley.

Firefighters were called to the scene at 4746 S. Langley Ave. around 7 p.m. Monday. They rescued six residents, none of whom sustained injuries.

The building was severely damaged, and the city’s department of buildings has been contacted, Chicago Fire Department spokesperson Larry Merritt said. The cause of the fire isn’t clear.

The classic greystone was where Diddley, born Elias Bates McDaniel, moved with his family from McComb, Mississippi in 1936 when he was seven. Writer and former Sun-Times columnist Dave Hoekstra wrote in 2004 Diddley then learned to play classical violin and guitar at Ebenezer Baptist Church, then made his own box-shaped guitars while a student at Foster Vocational School.

At Foster, he became classmates with another Blues legend: Earl Hooker.

Diddley died in 2008.

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