John Bercow was born on January 19, 1963, in Edgware, United Kingdom, to the family of a taxi driver Charles Bercow and Brenda Bailey. His father was born to a family of Jewish immigrants from Romania in the early 20th century who having settled in the United Kingdom anglicized its surname from Berkowitz to Bercow. His mother converted to Judaism. In his teens, Bercow had been ranked Britain's No.1 junior tennis player, but came down with bronchial asthma and was unable to pursue a professional career. In 1975 he appeared on the British children's television series Crackerjack!