Richard Starkey was born as the first Beatle on July 7, 1940, in Liverpool, to Richard and Elsie Starkey. As a child he was sickly, always in the hospital instead of school. After staying in the hospital for two years with chronic pleurisy, he gave up on school and took up drumming when his grandfather bought him a drum set.
After joing his first band at age 16, Richard earned his nickname "Ringo Starr" for the many rings he wore on his fingers. The rings also became the subject of the movie "Help!" in which a primitive tribe attempts to steal one of the rings for a sacrifice. Ringo got his first brush with success with the band Rory and the Hurricanes, whom the Beatles opened for several times.
It was only after producer George Martin declared original Beatle drummer Pete Best "not good" that Ringo joined the Beatles, by suggestion to Brian Epstein by Paul and John. However, at the first session he attended with his new band he found that Martin had brought in a session drummer, Andy White, who played on the Beatles first single Love Me Do. A dejected Ringo was reduced to shaking a pair of maracas.
During a hospital stay in 1964 in which he was temporarily replaced with drummer Jimmy Nichols, the Beatles found out just how loved Ringo was. When he rejoined his bandmates in Australia he was greeted by huge crowds and was even nominated for president. Sitting high on a pedestal, light shimmering from his many rings, a happy Ringo was back where he belonged.
Following the Beatles, Ringo appeared in several movies ("The Magic Christian"), TV shows ("Shining Time Station"), and TV commercials including one for Pizza Hut with the Monkees. He also has organized several world tours with his All-Starr Band, which have included Joe Walsh and Starr's son Zachery.