Stephen Patrick Morrissey, who is most commonly referred to by his last name, was born on May 22, 1959, in Manchester, England. The son of a hospital porter and a librarian, Morrissey was a moody, introspective child. He was named after Steve Cochran. He found an early love in poetry and writing, outlets that helped him cope with the occasional bouts of depression that gripped his life. Morrissey especially adored the work of Oscar Wilde.
For Morrissey, pop music provided a needed escape from his "dreary" childhood in Manchester. "Pop music was all I ever had, and it was completely entwined with the image of the pop star," he told The New York Times in 1991. "I remember feeling that the person singing was actually with me and understood me and my predicament. A lot of times I felt I was engaged with an absolute tangible love affair."