Steve McQueen was born Terence Steve McQueen to William Terence McQueen and Julia Ann nee Crawford on March 24, 1930, in Beech Grove, Indiana. His father, a stunt pilot, left Julia six months after meeting her.
McQueen was mostly raised by his maternal grandparents and his uncle Claude at the latter’s farm in Missouri. When McQueen turned eight, his mother took him with her to his stepfather’s place in Indianapolis. Adolescent McQueen faced tough time coping with the new environment, new place and new people.
Unable to bear the atrocities cast upon by his stepfather, McQueen left home at the age of nine. His mother sent him back to Claude only to call him again three years later to a new father and a new home in Los Angeles. However, history repeated itself and McQueen returned to his uncle a final time.
At the age of 14, he temporarily joined circus. He then returned to his stepfather and mother in Los Angeles. Meanwhile, the relation with his parents only worsened with time and McQueen was sent to the California Junior Boys Republic in Chino. At the Republic, McQueen rose to fame so much so that he was elected to the Boys Council.
At 16, McQueen left Chino to return to his mother in Greenwich Village, New York. However, he soon left for the Dominican Republic. During this phase of life, McQueen took up many odd jobs as a lumberjack, oil rigger, salesman and so on.