Thursday, November 24, 2011

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Allen was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY. The son of Nettie (née Cherrie; November 8, 1906 – January 27, 2002), a bookkeeper at her family's delicatessen, and Martin Konigsberg (December 25, 1900 – January 13, 2001), a jewelry engraver and waiter. His family was Jewish and his grandparents were immigrants who spoke Yiddish, Hebrew, and German; both of his parents were born and raised on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Allen has a sister, Letty, who was born in 1943, and was raised in Midwood, Brooklyn. His childhood was not particularly happy: his parents did not get along, and he had a rocky relationship with his stern, temperamental mother. Allen spoke German quite a bit during his early years. While attending Hebrew school for eight years, he went to Public School 99 (now The Isaac Asimov School for Science and Literature) and to Midwood High School. During that time, he lived in an apartment at 1402 Avenue K, between East 14th and 15th Streets.[citation needed] Unlike his comic persona, he was more interested in baseball than school and his strong arms ensured he was the first to be picked for a team. He impressed students with his extraordinary talent at card and magic tricks. To raise money he began writing jokes (or "gags") for the agent David O. Alber, who sold them to newspaper columnists. According to Allen, his first published joke read: "Woody Allen says he ate at a restaurant that had O.P.S. prices – over people's salaries."

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He began to call himself Woody Allen. He would later joke that when he was young he was often sent to inter-faith summer camps, where he "was savagely beaten by children of all races and creeds." At the age of 17, he legally changed his name to Heywood Allen. He was already earning more than both of his parents combined.

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After high school, he attended New York University (NYU), where he studied communication and film. He later briefly attended City College of New York and soon flunked out. Later, he learned via self-study rather than the classroom. He eventually taught at The New School. He also studied with writing teacher Lajos Egri.p.74

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