Howard Allan Stern was born on January 12, 1954, in Jackson Heights, Queens, New York, to Rae (Schiffman), an inhalation therapist, and Bernard Stern, who co-owned a cartoon/commercial production studio. His grandparents were Jewish emigrants from Poland and the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
Stern’s first radio experience was at Boston University, where he volunteered at the college radio station. Along with several other students, he created an on-air show called the King Schmaltz Bagel Hour, a takeoff on the popular King Biscuit Flour Hour. Predicting his penchant for controversy, the show was canceled after its first broadcast, which included the comedy sketch “Name That Sin,” a game show where contestants confessed their worst sins. Stern graduated in 1976 with a 3.8 grade-point average and a bachelor’s degree in communications. During his first paying radio gig, at an understaffed 3,000-watt station in Briarcliff Manor, New York, “It dawned on me that I would never make it as a straight deejay,” Stern told James S. Kunen in an interview for People (10/22/84), “so I started to mess around. It was unheard-of to mix talking on the phone with playing music. It was outrageous, It was blasphemy.”
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