Joseph Heller was born on May 1, 1923, in the Coney Island district of Brooklyn, New York, the son of Isaac and Lena Heller. His parents were Jewish immigrants from Russia. Isaac, who arrived in America in 1913, was agnostic, interested in socialist politics, and a delivery truck driver for a wholesale baker. Joseph had a half-sister, Sylvia, seven years older than he, and a half-brother, Lee (originally Eli), fourteen years older and born in Russia; their mother had died.Joseph's father died following an operation in 1929, as Joseph began his formal education at Coney Island's Public School No. 188. Lena never learned to speak English well, and the family struggled financially. After graduating from Abraham Lincoln High School in 1941, Joseph immediately went to work as a file clerk for an insurance agency. When the United States entered World War II in December of that year, he took a job as a blacksmith's assistant in the Norfolk Navy Yard. World War
This is the end of the preview.
access the rest of the document.