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Midget Molley is best known as the drug dealer who became the "King of Atlantic City".
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Drug kingpin. Born Robert Edward Molley (a.k.a. Hakeem Abdul Shaheed) on March 4, 1959, in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Molley's father, Benjamin Franklin Molley, was a Barbadian immigrant and a Pentecostal pastor who "spoke in scriptures." His mother, Helen Louise Molley, worked to raise her children in a stringent, Christian home. Family life was strict, and Molley and his 12 siblings would often sit at church well into the night, forced to listen to their father's sermons.
Around the age of six, Molley's physical appearance began coming to the attention of his family. Molley's aunt noticed that the young boy wasn't growing as quickly as the other children in the family, and jokingly called him a midget. As Molley reached his adult height of 5 feet 2 inches, the name persisted. Soon, children in the neighborhood also began calling him "Midget Molley" to help distinguish him from his many siblings. Because many children tried to capitalize on Molley's small stature, the young man learned to use his mind to his advantage. He often took dares, arranged hustles, or jumped into leadership roles as a way to prove his superiority. This tenacity would serve him well in his later life, but the arrogance that accompanied it would become his downfall.
In 1969, shortly before Molley's tenth birthday, his father died of a brain tumor. Molley's mother was forced to find work in local hotels, making it difficult for her to keep an eye on her children. Relieved of their strict religious upbringing, the children began seeking release in destructive ways. Molley headed to the streets, specifically the popular Kentucky Avenue, or "KY and the Curb," to compete with big name hustlers. He started running illegal numbers for the local criminal element, and shining the shoes of gangsters in Atlantic City. Within a year, Midget Molley acquired a reputation as an eager and enterprising young hustler, associating with the local criminals whose shoes he shined.
Molley's life changed in 1972, when he and some friends entered an apartment complex on Bacharach Avenue. During a heated exchange with another youth, Molley stabbed a resident of the complex. The only eyewitness, a girl named Elise, approached Molley about the incident. But instead of threatening him with police action, the couple soon began dating. Within a few years, Elise gave birth to two children, Hakeem and Hakeema.
In the absence of a religious influence, Molley became deeply interested in and involved with the Nation of Islam in 1976. Molley changed his name to Hakeem Ali Abdul-Shaheed in reverence to his teacher and attended temple regularly.
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