Johnson's maternal great-grandfather, Elias Avery Lowe, a paleographer, was of Russian Jewish descent, and his paternal great-grandfather, Ali Kemal, was an Ottoman-born Turkish journalist. Also, his father, Stanley Johnson, has English, German and French ancestors.
Boris Johnson was born on 19 June 1964 in the Upper East Side of Manhattan, New York City, New York, United States, to Stanley Johnson and Charlotte Fawcett, an artist from a family of liberal intellectuals. Boris's parents married in 1963 and moved to the United States. In September 1964, they returned to England. In July 1965, the family moved to Crouch End in north London, and in February 1966 they relocated to Washington, D.C. There Stanley gained employment with the World Bank. Later, he worked with a policy panel on population control. Then, the family moved to Norwalk, Connecticut. In 1969, they returned to England and settled down in West Nethercote Farm. In late 1969, Boris's family relocated to Maida Vale in West London, while his father, Stanley, began post-doctoral research at the London School of Economics.