Writer, director, and Academy Award-winning actor Charlton Heston was born on Oct. 4, 1924. Where he was born is a matter of some disagreement among thousands of sources on the web. About 40 percent of sources say he was born in Evanston, Illinois and about 60 percent say he was born in or near St. Helen in the north central woods of Michigan. Normally authoritative sources seem split down the middle. Assuming St. Helen is the correct place, his name at birth was John Carleton Carter. His parents were Lila Charlton and Russell Whitford Carter. His parents were divorced when Charlton was ten and Lila shortly was married a second time to Chester Heston and the family moved to Wilmette, Illinois where Charlton went to grade school. Charlton attended New Trier High School in Winnetka and graduated with the class of 1942.
While still in high school, Charlton acted in productions of the Winnetka Community Theater and that work helped him get a drama scholarship to Northwestern University. In 1944 he left Northwestern to enlist in the U.S. Army Air Force and was stationed in Alaska.