Morgan Porterfield Freeman Jr., was born in Memphis, Tennessee on June 1, 1937, the youngest of five children. His father, Morgan Porterfield Freeman Sr., was a barber, and his mother, Mayme Edna Freeman, taught school.
The elder Freemans struggled with the racial segregation laws in the south and finally took to the road. Not long after Morgan Jr. was born, his family moved to Chicago, but he went to live with his grandmother in Mississippi. She died when he was six, and he rejoined his family in Chicago.
At that time, his mother had separated from his father. Later she and her children moved to Tennessee and eventually returned to Mississippi.