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Birth and Early Life of Bing Crosby

Bing was born Harry Lillis Crosby on May 3, 1903, in a house that his father, Harry Lowe Crosby, built at 1112 North J Street, Tacoma, Washington. Bing had no birth certificate, and the actual date of his birth was shrouded in mystery until after his death. Even Bing's immediate family assigned at least 3 different years for his birth. For example, Ted Crosby's 1937 biography of his younger brother never actually lists Bing's birth date, but from the ages he assigned to Bing throughout the book Ted implies that Bing was born the first week of May in 1901. This early birth is 9 months after Ted's (July 30, 1900). This seems most improbable if you consider that typical human females do not regain their fertility for at least 6 weeks following childbirth. The early May 1901 birth would require that Bing be born at least a month premature, but there is no account of any such premature birth. Meanwhile, archival documents of Bing's high school and college years at Gonzaga in Spokane, Washington, indicate that Ted's placement of many events in Bing's school days is at least a year before their actual occurrence.

During most of his lifetime Bing celebrated May 2, 1904 as his birth date. After Bing’s death in 1977 a Tacoma priest disclosed Roman Catholic Church baptismal records that revealed Bing's actual birth date. Contemporary newspaper reports of Bing's birth also confirm the date as May 3, 1903:

The Tacoma Daily News Wednesday, May 6, 1903:
"Mr. and Mrs. H. L. Crosby are receiving congratulations on the arrival of a son at their household May 3."
Tacoma Daily Ledger, Thursday May 7, 1903:
"A little son arrived May 3 in the home of Mr. and Mrs. H. L. Crosby".

Apparently the family began celebrating May 2nd as Bing's birthday in deference to his sister, Mary Rose, who was also born on May 3 in 1906.

Bing had 4 brothers and 2 sisters

Back row:
Everett (1896-1966), Bing (1903-77), Larry (1895-1975), Ted (1900-73), Bob (1913-93)

Front row:
Catherine (1904-72), mother Kate [Harrigan] (1873-1964), Mary Rose (1906-90); father Harry (1871-1950) had already died.

Everett served for many years as Bing's manager.

Bing's family moved from Tacoma to Spokane, Washington, in 1906 where Bing developed a friendship with a neighbor boy, Valentine Hobart. The two boys shared an interest in a comic strip called The Bingville Bugle, whose leading character was named Bingo. Bingo had protruding ears like young Crosby, so Valentine began calling Harry "Bingo." This caught on amongst Crosby's other childhood friends. Eventually the name was shortened to "Bing."

Next: The Early Music

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Collections of Christmas Carols & Poetry
Compiled and Edited by
Douglas D. Anderson

Victorian Visions
A Christmas Poetry Collection

Divinely Inspired
A Christmas Poetry Collection

The Bridegroom Cometh
Poetry For The Advent

Other books by Doug Anderson

Once A Lovely Shining Star

A Christmas Poetry Collection

So Gracious Is The Time

A Christmas Poetry Collection

How Still The Night

The Christmas Poems of Father Andrew, S.D.C.

 Father and Daughter

Christmas Poems by Frances and William Havergal

Now, Now The Mirth Comes

Christmas Poetry by Robert Herrick

What Sudden Blaze Of Song

The Christmas Poems of Rev. John Keble

 A Holy Heavenly Chime

The Christmastide Poems of Christina Georgina Rossetti

All My Heart This Night Rejoices

The Christmas Poems of Catherine Winkworth

A Victorian Carol Book

Favorites from the 19th Century —
Still favorites today!

Other Books by Doug Anderson

A Psalter – A Book of the Psalms Arranged by Luther's Categories

Betbüchlein: A Personal Prayer Book, a recreation of Luther's 1529 prayer book

Daily Prayer

Luther's Passional

Luther's Writings on Prayer: A Selection

Devotions for the Advent – 2009
A new edition for 2010 is being prepared.

The Lenten Sermons of Martin Luther, Second Edition

Descriptions of all these volumes can be seen at
Books by Doug Anderson


Christmas is a wonderful, cheerful holiday.  Whether we spend it by a real tree or some Balsam Hill artificial Christmas trees, at the end of the day what matters is that we enjoy our time together with our loved ones. 


The Hymns and Carols of Christmas
Douglas D. Anderson

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