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They lived in a rain-soaked slum, the parents and children sharing one bed together, Mc Court's father drinking away what little money they had.
In 1951, Mc Court was drafted during the Korean War and sent to Bavaria for two years initially training dogs, then as a clerk.
He graduated in 1957 from New York University with a bachelor's degree in English.
He taught at six New York schools, including Mc Kee Vocational and Technical High School, Ralph R.
He subsequently wrote Teacher Man (2005) which detailed his teaching experiences and the challenges of being a teacher.
Mc Court was accused of greatly exaggerating his family's impoverished upbringing by many Limerick natives, including Richard Harris.
Mc Court's own mother had denied the accuracy of his stories shortly before her death in 1981, shouting from the audience during a stage performance of his recollections that it was "all a pack of lies." However, at the very least, many of his Stuyvesant High School students remembered quite clearly the mordant childhood anecdotes that he continually told during sessions of his senior-level Creative Writing (E7W-E8W) elective.