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Life Is What You Make It

An entrepreneur basks in his newfound freedom by building an ATM empire.

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This story appears in the February 2006 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Editor's note: McKinney died Oct. 8, 2008, in a scooter accident in Honolulu. He was 47.

Dewayne McKinney was only 19 when he pains-takingly learned the true value of freedom. Wrongly convicted of murder and robbery, he was sentenced to life in prison and immediately thrown into a desperate fight for survival. Stabbed and assaulted numerous times, he lived in fear. And when it became too much to bear, he even tried to take his own life. But amid the despair, a faint glimmer of hope lived on, and McKinney dreamed of the day that freedom would once again be his. "I started to dream outside of my environment," McKinney recalls. "I started to go beyond my circumstances."

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