Thomas Jeffrey Hanks was born in Concord, California, on July 9, 1956, to hospital worker Janet Marylyn (née Frager) and itinerant cook Amos "Bud" Hanks. Hanks is related to Abraham Lincoln,
and Fred Rogers, but not a direct descendant. His mother was of Portuguese descent (her family's surname was originally "Fraga"), while his father had English ancestry. His parents divorced in 1960. Their three oldest children, Sandra (later Sandra Hanks Benoiton, a writer), Larry (an entomology professor at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign), and Tom, went with their father, while the youngest, Jim (who also became an actor and filmmaker), remained with their mother in Red Bluff, California. In his childhood, Hanks's family moved often; by the age of 10, he had lived in 10 different houses.While Hanks's family religious history was Catholic and Mormon, one journalist characterized Hanks's teenage self as being a "Bible-toting evangelical" for several years. In school, he was unpopular with students and teachers alike, later telling Rolling Stone magazine, "I was a geek, a spaz. I was horribly, painfully, terribly shy. At the same time, I was the guy who'd yell out funny captions during filmstrips. But I didn't get into trouble. I was always a real good kid and pretty responsible." In 1965, his father married Frances Wong, a San Francisco native of Chinese descent. Frances had three children, two of whom lived with Hanks during his high school years. Hanks acted in school plays, including South Pacific, while attending Skyline High School in Oakland, California.Hanks studied theater at Chabot College in Hayward, California, and transferred to California State University, Sacramento after two years. During a 2001 interview with sportscaster Bob Costas, Hanks was asked whether he would rather have an Oscar or a Heisman Trophy. He replied he would rather win a Heisman by playing halfback for the California Golden Bears. He told New York magazine in 1986, "Acting classes looked like the best place for a guy who liked to make a lot of noise and be rather flamboyant. I spent a lot of time going to plays. I wouldn't take dates with me. I'd just drive to a theater, buy myself a ticket, sit in the seat and read the program, and then get into the play completely. I spent a lot of time like that, seeing Brecht, Tennessee Williams, Ibsen, and all that."During his years studying theater, Hanks met Vincent Dowling, head of the Great Lakes Theater Festival in Cleveland, Ohio. At Dowling's suggestion, Hanks became an intern at the festival. His internship stretched into a three-year experience that covered most aspects of theater production, including lighting, set design, and stage management, prompting Hanks to drop out of college. During the same time, Hanks won the Cleveland Critics Circle Award for Best Actor for his 1978 performance as Proteus in Shakespeare's The Two Gentlemen of Verona, one of the few times he played a villain. In 2010, Time magazine named Hanks one of the "Top 10 College Dropouts."