How did Dean Martin get his name?

Dean Martin was born Dino Paul Crocetti.

At 15 he was a boxer who billed himself as "Kid Crochet".

For a time, he shared a New York City apartment with Sonny King, who, like Martin, was starting in show business and had little money. It is said that Martin and King held bare-knuckle matches in their apartment, fighting until one was knocked out; people paid to watch. Martin knocked out King in the first round of an amateur boxing match. Martin gave up boxing to work as a roulette stickman and croupier in an illegal casino behind a tobacco shop, where he had started as a stock boy. At the same time he sang with local bands, calling himself "Dino Martini" (after the Metropolitan Opera tenor, Nino Martini).

In the early 1940s, he started singing for bandleader Sammy Watkins, who suggested he change his name to Dean Martin.