Richard Starkey, MBE (born 7 July 1940), better known by his stage name Ringo Starr, is an Academy Award-winning English musician, singer, songwriter and actor, best known as the drummer for The Beatles. He was the oldest member of the band, and the last to join the "Fab Four" line up. He now enjoys a successful solo career.
Ringo Starr was born at 9 Madryn Street, Dingle, Liverpool. Starr's parents split up when he was three years old; his mother, Elsie, married Harry Graves, whom Starr liked and who encouraged his interest in music. His childhood was filled with long hospital stays, once in Heswall Children's Hospital in Wirral, where the air was cleaner than in Liverpool — an appendicitis-caused coma and a cold-turned-pleurisy were among his ailments — consequently, he fell far behind in school. After his last extended visit to hospital, beginning at age 13, he did not return to school. His health problems had another enduring effect: allergies and sensitivities to food. When he travelled to India in 1968 with the other Beatles, he took his own food with him.