Isadora Duncan was born as Angela Isadora Duncan on May 26, 1877, in San Francisco, California, the United States, to Joseph Charles Duncan, a banker, mining engineer, and connoisseur of the arts, and Mary Isadora Gray and was the youngest of four siblings. Although Duncan’s birth date is generally believed to have been May 27, 1878, her baptismal certificate, discovered in San Francisco in 1976, records the date of May 26, 1877.
Isadora Duncan grew up in circumstances which encouraged her independent spirit. Soon after her birth, her father lost his job in the bank and was humiliated publicly. Her father abandoned his family when Duncan was an infant, and her mother was forced to support the family by giving music lessons.