Stanley Bert Eisen was born January 20, 1952, in upper Manhattan, New York City, New York, near 211th St. and Broadway; the Inwood neighborhood near Inwood Hill Park. Both of his parents are Jewish. He was the second of two children; his older sister Julia was born two years earlier. Their mother came from a family that fled Nazi Germany to Amsterdam, Netherlands, and then to New York City. His father's parents were from Poland. Stanley was raised Jewish, although he did not consider his family very observant and did not celebrate his Bar Mitzvah. His parents listened to classical music and light opera; Stanley was greatly moved by Beethoven's works.