Pacino was born on April 25, 1940, in the East Harlem neighborhood of New York City, to Italian American parents Salvatore and Rose (née Gerardi) Pacino. His parents divorced when he was two years old. His mother then took him to The Bronx to live with her parents, Kate and James Gerardi, who had come from a town in Sicily named Corleone. His father, who was from San Fratello in the Province of Messina, moved to Covina, California to work as an insurance salesman and restaurateur.
In 1962, his mother died at the age of 43. The following year, Pacino's grandfather James Gerardi, also died.