Irving Berlin was born in the poverty stricken town of Tyumen, Russia. He was born on May 11th, 1988 and his birth name was Israel Baline. He was the youngest of 9 children born to Moses and Leah (Lena) Baline. In 1893, escaping Russian persecution, the Baline’s fled to America and settled in the lower East side of New York. Baline’s father was a shochel for the Jewish synagogue in Russia and after arriving in New York he was forced to work in local markets. The Baline children had to work selling newspapers to help the family, like so many other immigrated families had to do. Shortly after his fathers death in 1896, Baline ran away from home. After leaving home, Baline earned money by singing at popular cafes and restaurants in the Bowery.