Birth Name: Howard Keel
Birth Place: Gillespie, Illinois, USA
Death Place: Palm Desert, California, USA
Harold Clifton Keel was born on April 13, 1917, in Gillespie, IL. A former navy captain, Keel's father Homer was compelled by hard times to work as a coal miner and a dependence on alcohol drove him to abusive rages. With his father's suicide in 1930, Keel's mother, the former Grace Osterkamp, relocated her two sons to California, settling ultimately in Fallbrook, north of San Diego. A strict Methodist, the woman forbade her sons any form of popular entertainment, even as a diversion from the crushing poverty in which they lived. After graduating from Fallbrook High School, Keel headed for Los Angeles, where the landlady of the apartment he rented overheard him singing and encouraged him to ...