Foster was born on November 19, 1962 in Los Angeles, the youngest child of Evelyn Ella "Brandy" (née Almond) and Lucius Fisher Foster III. Her father came from a wealthy Chicago family, whose forebears included John Alden, who arrived in North America on the Mayflower in 1620. He was a Yale University graduate and a decorated U. S. Air Force lieutenant colonel, and made his career as a real estate broker. He had three sons from an earlier marriage before marrying Brandy in Las Vegas in 1953. Brandy Foster was of German heritage and grew up in Rockford, Illinois. Foster also has Irish roots, with ancestry that can be traced back to County Cork. Before Jodie's birth, Brandy and Lucius had three other children: daughters Lucinda "Cindy" Foster (b. 1954) and Constance "Connie" Foster (b. 1955), and son Lucius Fisher "Buddy" Foster (b. 1957). Their marriage ended before Foster was born, and she never established a relationship with her father. Following the divorce, Brandy raised the children with her partner in Los Angeles. She worked as a publicist for film producer Arthur P. Jacobs, until focusing on managing the acting careers of Buddy and Jodie. Although Foster was officially named Alicia, her siblings began calling her "Jodie", and the name stuck.