Saturday, June 9, 2012

Henry Fonda's Early Years.

The Fonda's were among the first Dutch population to settle in what is now upstate New York, establishing the town of Fonda, New York.

By 1888, most of the Fondas had relocated to Nebraska. Henry Fonda was born in Grand Island, Nebraska,  to advertising-printer William Brace Fonda and his wife, Elma Herberta.

Fonda was brought up as a Christian Scientist, though he was baptized an Episcopalian at St. Stephen's Episcopal Church  in Grand Island.

They were a close family and avoided doctors due to their religion.

Fonda was a shy, short boy who avoided girls, except his sisters, and was a good skater, swimmer, and runner.

He worked part-time in his father's print plant and wanted to be a journalist. Later, he worked after school for the phone company. He also enjoyed drawing.

Fonda was active in the Boy Scouts of America and reached the rank of Eagle Scout.

When he was about 14, his father took him to watch a lynching, from the window of his father's plant, of a young black man accused of rape.  This so enraged Fonda that he kept a keen awareness of prejudice for the rest of his life.

By his senior year in high school, Fonda had grown to more than six feet tall, but remained a shy teenager. He attended the University of Minnesota, majoring in journalism, but he did not graduate. He took a job with the Retail Credit Company.

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