James Paul McCartney was born in Liverpool Walton Hospital. His mother Mary had previously worked there as a nurse in the maternity ward.
He looked awful. I couldn't get over it. Horrible. He had one eye open, and he just squawked all the time. They held him up and he looked like a piece of red meat. When I got home I cried, the first time for years and years.
But the next day, he looked more human. He turned out a lovely baby in the end.
In 1947 McCartney began attending Stockton Wood Road Primary school, before moving on to Joseph Williams Junior School. He passed his 11 Plus exam in 1953 and attained a place at the Liverpool Institute.
In 1954, while riding on the bus to the Institute, he met George Harrison, who lived nearby.
The following year the McCartneys moved to 20 Forthlin Road, now owned by the National Trust.
On 31 October 1956 Mary McCartney died of an embolism following a mastectomy. She had been suffering from breast cancer.
McCartney's father Jim was a pianist and trumpet player who encouraged Paul and his brother Mike to become musical. He bought Paul a trumpet, which was swapped for a £15 Framus Zenith acoustic guitar when skiffle became a national craze.
Also on this day...
- 2014: Ringo Starr live at Beacon Theatre, New York
- 2010: John Lennon’s handwritten lyrics for A Day In The Life sell for $1.2m
- 2009: Ringo Starr to get Hollywood Walk of Fame star
- 2001: Sir Paul McCartney’s coat of arms is granted
- 1968: Première of the In His Own Write stage play
- 1968: George Harrison and Ringo Starr return to England from America
- 1968: Paul McCartney celebrates his 26th birthday at Apple
- 1965: Television: Tonight
- 1965: Radio: BBC European Service
- 1965: Mixing: I’ve Just Seen A Face, I’m Down, It’s Only Love, Act Naturally, Wait, Help!, Yesterday
- 1964: Live: Sydney Stadium, Sydney
- 1963: John Lennon beats up Cavern DJ Bob Wooler at Paul McCartney’s 21st birthday party
- 1961: Live: Top Ten Club, Hamburg
- 1960: Live: Grosvenor Ballroom, Wallasey
- 1956: Paul McCartney is given a trumpet for his 14th birthday
Want more? Visit the Beatles history section.