20 Childhood Homes of the World's Most Fascinating People

Everybody's got to start somewhere.

By: Rachel Tepper Paley
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John Lennon

The residence of his aunt Mimi and her husband, this semi-detached home in the middle-class Liverpool suburb of Woolton was home to John Lennon from the age of 5 through to adulthood. Lennon was sent here by his struggling mother, although she visited often. Lennon’s widow, Yoko Ono, purchased the home in 2002, saving it from demolition. She donated it, in turn, to the U.K.’s conservation service, the National Trust.

Michael Jackson

In the strangest of coincidences, Michael Jackson’s childhood home—a two-bedroom, white frame house in Gary, Indiana—is actually located at 2300 Jackson Street. Nine Jackson children were raised in this small home by parents Katherine and Joe.

Butch Cassidy

Folklore hero (or notorious criminal, depending on who you ask) Butch Cassidy grew up in a small cabin just south of Circleville, Utah. In 2017, state officials decided to sink $138,000 into renovations of the long-neglected property.

John F. Kennedy

In an upstairs bedroom of this two-and-a-half story home in Brookline, Massachusetts, the 35th President of the United States was born on May 29, 1917. John F. Kennedy lived for a decade at 83 Beals Street until the Kennedy family moved to New York City in the late 1920s. Today, the home has been renovated to look like it did when JFK lived here and is open for tours.

Andy Warhol

At age 6, the larger-than-life pop artist Andy Warhol moved into this ordinary three-story, yellow-brick home in a modest corner of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Warhol lived here for 15 years until he left for New York City in 1949; he learned to use a camera in the basement’s fruit cellar.

Muhammad Ali

Cassius Clay, Jr.—later known to the world as legendary boxer Muhammad Ali—moved into this one-story, two-bedroom home with a single bathroom in 1947 at the age of 5. The Clay family lived here until 1961. Today, the property houses a museum showcasing Ali’s childhood.

Hans Christian Anderson

Not far from St. Knud's Cathedral in Odense, Denmark, the children’s author Hans Christian Andersen lived with his family between the ages of 2 and 14 in a petite dwelling less than 200 square feet in size. Today, it’s open for visitors.

Nelson Mandela

At the age of 9, Nelson Mandela came to live in this mud hut in Mqhekezweni, a village in eastern South Africa. Raised by a tribal king named Chief Jongintaba, Mandela was profoundly affected by this place and continued to visit long into his old age.

Bob Dylan

Robert Zimmerman, better known as the singer-songwriter Bob Dylan, lived on the second floor of this duplex in Duluth, Minnesota, from birth until the age of 6. These days, it’s owned by a Dylan superfan.

Ernest Hemingway

In 1889, the famed author Ernest Hemingway was born in this 5,500-square-foot Victorian home nestled in the Chicago suburb of Oak Park. Hemingway lived here with his grandfather, parents, and three sisters until the age of 6.

Princess Diana

Althorp House, the family home of the Spencer Family, is where the future Princess Diana called home before moving to Buckingham Palace. Located in Northamptonshire, England, the estate has been in the family for more than 500 years, with the mansion dating to 1688. It’s open for tours.

Martha Stewart

The queen of DIY, Martha Stewart, grew up in this Dutch colonial home in Nutley, New Jersey, from the age of 3 onward. The three-bedroom, 1,922-square-foot home was built in 1930; Stewart still drives by from time to time.

Walt Disney

At the corner of Tripp Avenue and Palmer Street just outside downtown Chicago, Walt Disney was born and lived in a modest home designed and built by his parents, Flora and Elias Disney. The two-story wooden cottage cost just $800 to build in the 1890s.

Kurt Cobain

The godfather of grunge, Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain lived in this dreary home in Aberdeen, Washington, from 1968 to 1976. Tributes to the band Iron Maiden, etched by Kurt himself, are still on display in the musician’s former bedroom. The place is still on the market, if you’re interested in moving in.

Arnold Schwarzenegger

Before he became a body-building champion, the future Governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger lived in this stately building in the Austrian village of Thal, just outside the city of Graz. Don’t be fooled by its elegant looks; Schwarzenegger and his family lived on the first floor without electricity or running water. These days, it’s a museum with Schwarzenegger’s childhood bed and some of his first dumb-bells on display.

Britney Spears

Before she left to star in The Mickey Mouse Club in the early 1990s, pop star Britney Spears called this place in Kentwood, Louisiana, home. Items from her childhood bedroom are now on display in a museum across town.

Madonna

The Material Girl grew up in this 2,700-square food home on Oklahoma Avenue in the Detroit suburb of Rochester Hills. r.The five-bedroom, three-bathroom property was damaged in a 2008 fire, but was renovated and put on the market this past summer.

Mark Twain

Samuel Langhorne Clemens—better known as the author Mark Twain—lived in this home from 1844 to 1853, between the ages of 9 and 18. It's most famous attribute is the whitewashed picket fence, which made a critical appearance in his 1876 novel, The Adventure of Tom Sawyer. Today it’s a museum open for visitors.

Johnny Cash

Legendary musician Johnny Cash grew up in this five-bedroom home in Dyess Colony in Mississippi County, an experiment by the federal government borne of President Roosevelt's New Deal. In 1935, Cash's father, a share cropper, was given 20 acres of land and the above home with no money down; Cash lived here until 1950 when he left to join the Air Force.

Che Guevara

The Guevara family rented several homes over the years in Alta Gracia, a small city in central Argentina, but they spent the most time in Villa Nydia: from 1935 to 1937 and again from 1939 to 1943. Today, it houses a museum dedicated to the Marxist revolutionary.