Orson Welles was born on May 6, 1915 in Kenosha, Wisconsin. His father, Richard Head Welles, made money by inventing carbide lamp for bicycles. His mother, Beatrice Ives Welles, was a pianist. He had an elder brother named Richard Ives (Dickie) Wells.
Orson had a very troubled childhood. Although the family was quite rich in the beginning, his father’s business began to falter soon after his birth and they moved to Chicago in 1919. His parents separated sometime after this and he was brought up by his mother, who supported him by playing piano. After his mother’s death in 1924 Orson was put under the custody of his alcoholic father.
On December 28, 1930, when Welles was 15, his father died of heart and kidney failure at the age of 58, alone in a hotel in Chicago. Shortly before this, Welles had announced to his father that he would stop seeing him, believing it would prompt his father to refrain from drinking. As a result, Orson felt guilty because he believed his father had drunk himself to death because of him. His father's will left it to Orson to name his guardian. When Roger Hill declined, Welles chose Maurice Bernstein.