After a heartbreaking childhood, Henry Winkler vowed not to repeat his parents’ mistakes while raising his kids

Henry Winkler most times doesn’t have any wonderful memories of his childhood as they were filled with rifts between him and his parents.Henry Winkler was born in Manhattan New York to Jewish parents on October 30, 1945. His father Harry Irving Winkler was the president at an international lumber company, while his mother Ilse worked in the same company as his father.


As a child Winkler often struggled with his school work and no one was willing to help him find the solution to his problem. He was getting a lot of pressure from his parents, and no one often cared about what he actually wanted.


Winkler always wanted to be an actor, but his parents wanted something else for him. They wanted him to join the company after he must have been done with school, but Winkler was having issues with his academics and was often stopped from engaging in some school activities because of his low grades.


His parents were upset the most as they wanted a child who was brilliant in school.

“They believed in education. They thought I was lazy. I was called lazy. I was called stupid. I was told I was not living up to my potential,” said Winkler.

At some points he was grounded at home for six weeks because they believed that if he was always on his desk reading there will be an improvement.

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He often recalls the cruel remarks they always made about him and they got a nickname for him, “Dumm Hund” (dumb dog).

He went on to graduate from Yale in 1970 with an MFA. Winkler got married in 1978 to Stacey Winkler. 


Winkler only got to know the reason he did poorly in school when he was 31. He was diagnosed with dyslexia. All of his three children were diagnosed with the same condition, and Winkler has decided to do better than his parents. He treats them with love, care and support.

I think one of the most important things in being a parent is seeing your child in front of you as who they are — not who you want them to be. If you do that, it solves about two million problems right off the bat,” he said.

The actors approach to parenthood is commendable. Coming from someone who didn’t receive any parental love and care, he deserves some accolades.

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