Born Barbra Joan Streisand on April 24, 1942 in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, to Diana Rosen and Emanuel Streisand. Streisand's father was a high school English teacher who died from complications of an epileptic seizure when Barbra was only 15 months old. Barbra Streisand mother raised Barbra and her older brother, Sheldon, by working as a secretary in the New York City public school system. Barbra Streisand mother remarried in the late 1940s to Louis Kind, a used-car salesman, while Streisand was away at camp. Streisand was unaware of the second marriage, or that her mother was pregnant. Streisand's half-sister, Rosalind, was born in 1952.
Streisand has described her childhood as painful. Barbra Streisand was shy as a child, and often felt rejected by other children because her looks were unusual. Additionally, she saw her stepfather as emotionally abusive. Barbra Streisand also found no support from her mother, who thought her too unattractive to pursue her dreams of show business.
As a child, Streisand attended Bais Yakov School, where she sang in the school choir. Following elementary school, Streisand was a student at Erasmus Hall High School where she met future collaborator, Neil Diamond. Even before Barbra graduated from high school, she was traveling to New York City to study acting. At the age of 15, she met Anita and Alan Miller at the Cherry Lane Theater in Greenwich Village. Streisand negotiated a deal with the couple; she would babysit for their children in exchange for a scholarship to Alan's acting school. It was one of two she simultaneously attended. Barbra Streisand graduated from Erasmus High in 1959 at the age of 16. Barbra Streisand was fourth in her class.
Streisand never attended college. Barbra Streisand moved to New York City in 1960 instead, months after graduating from high school. There, she shared several apartments with friends, including one with actor Elliot Gould, who she wed in 1963. They were married for eight years. Together the couple had one child, Jason.