Edwin Powell Hubble was born on January 20, 1889, in Marshfield, Missouri, United States to the family of an insurance executive John Powell Hubble and Virginia Lee James. His mother was a homemaker who ran the household alone during his father’s frequent absences on business. Edwin was the third of eight children, not all of whom survived childhood.
The Hubble family were financially prosperous. They needed to be mobile because of John Hubble’s insurance career, and they lived in the suburbs of cities including Chicago and Louisville. Their homes were large and prestigious and staffed with servants.
The Hubble children were all given chores to do because their parents believed this helped them develop better characters.
Edwin Hubble began reading when he was an infant, trying to keep up with his elder brother and sister who had started school. His favorite books were adventure stores by Jules Verne and H. Rider Haggard.
When Hubble was seven, his grandfather, who was an enthusiastic amateur astronomer, showed him one of his telescopes. Hubble was so eager to use it that he asked if he could stay up at night studying the heavens rather than have an eighth birthday party.