Wilma Rudolph was born on June 23, 1940 in Saint Bethlehem, Tennessee (now part of Clarksville), United States. She was the twentieth of twenty-two children of her father's first and second marriages. Her father, Ed Rudolph, was a railroad porter, and her mother, Blanche (Pettus) Rudolph, was a domestic. Their home had neither electricity nor indoor plumbing. Rudolph born two months premature and weighed only four and a half pounds.