Meat Loaf was born in Dallas, Texas. He was the only child of Wilma Artie (née Hukel), a school teacher and a member of the Vo-di-o-do Girls gospel quartet, and Orvis Wesley Aday, a police officer. His father was an alcoholic who would go on drinking binges for days at a time. Aday and his mother would drive around to all the bars in Dallas, looking for Orvis to take him home. Because of this, Aday often stayed with his grandmother, Charlsee Norrod.
Meat Loaf relates a story in his autobiography, To Hell and Back, about how he, a friend, and his friend's father drove out to Love Field to watch John F. Kennedy land. After watching him leave the airport, they went to Market Hall, which was on Kennedy's parade route. On the way they heard that Kennedy had been shot, so they headed to Parkland Hospital, where they saw Jackie Kennedy get out of the car and Governor John Connally get pulled out, although they never saw the president taken out.
In 1965, Aday graduated from Thomas Jefferson High School, having already started his acting career via school productions such as Where's Charley? and The Music Man. After attending college at Lubbock Christian College, he transferred to North Texas State University (now the University of North Texas in Denton).
After Aday received his inheritance from his mother's death, he rented an apartment in Dallas and isolated himself for three and a half months. Eventually a friend found him. Aday bought a car and drove to California.
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