Jack Foley's father was an Irish-American, and his mother was an Italian-American.
Jack Foley was born as John Wayne Harold Foley on August 9, 1940, in Neptune, New Jersey, United States. He is a son of John Harold Aloysius, a vaudeville singer and dancer, songwriter, telegrapher, and Western Union office manager, and Juana Foley (maiden name Terio). He was raised in a Port Chester village, New York.
As an adolescent, Foley had an intense sense of not belonging. He viewed other people from a distance, as if they were figures on a movie screen.