Son of poor Russian immigrants, Eddie Fisher started singing professionally at age 12. Singer and entertainer. One the most well-known vocalists of the 1950s, Eddie Fisher was born on August 10, 1928, the fourth of seven kids growing up in a poor immigrant area of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Fisher’s parents, Kate and Joe Fisher, were both Russian-born Jewish immigrants, and his dad worked first in a leather factory and after peddling fruits and vegetables in the trunk of his automobile. Fisher’s family was exceptionally poor, going often to prevent eviction and subsisting to get a time on welfare payments. However, despite his impoverished youth, Fisher consistently considered he was destined for stardom. He remembers, “Somehow, though, somehow I knew I would escape this world, and that I understood that my voice would take me out of it.”
Nicknamed “Sonny Boy,” Fisher found his natural vocal ability in an extremely young age. Fisher’s was a natural gift that needed little training or polish. He never once took a voice lesson; “I did not have to work at it,” he says, “I did not even have to practice.” Eddie Fisher entered his first children’s talent show in the age of 4 and won first prize-a big cake. After that, he says, “my mom entered me in every recreational competition she learned about and I generally won.” As a young lad he tied for first place on the most popular radio talent contest, Arthur Godfrey’s Talent Scouts. For another several years, Fisher performed on local radio shows including Magic Lady, Junior Music Hall and Teen Time, bringing in about $25 per week. Already an area star, Fisher dropped out of high school during his senior year to continue a full time music career. Fisher says his parents accepted his conclusion as the cash he made through his singing helped lift the family from poverty. “It had not been in any way uncommon for children of poor immigrants to give up school to help support their families,” he remembers.