Ford was born at the Swedish Covenant Hospital in Chicago, Illinois to Christopher Ford (born John William Ford), an advertising executive and former actor, and Dorothy (née Nidelman), a former radio actress. A younger brother, Terence, was born in 1945. His father was Catholic and his mother was Jewish. Ford's paternal grandparents, John Fitzgerald Ford and Florence Veronica Niehaus, were of Irish and German descent, respectively. Ford's maternal grandparents, Harry Nidelman and Anna Lifschutz, were Jewish emigrants from Minsk, Belarus (at that time a part of the Russian Empire). When asked in which religion he and his brother were raised, Ford jokingly responded, "Democrat," "to be liberals of every stripe". In a television interview shown in August 2000, when asked about what influence his Irish Catholic and Russian Jewish ancestry may have had on his life as a person and as an artist, Ford humorously stated, "As a man I've always felt Irish, as an actor I've always felt Jewish. "