Hanks was born in Concord, California. His father, Amos Mefford Hank, was a distant relative of President Abraham Lincoln, through Lincoln’s mother, Nancy Hanks. His mother, Janet Marylyn (née Frager), was a hospital worker; she is of Portuguese ancestry.
Hanks’s parents divorced in 1960. The family’s three oldest children, Sandra (now Sandra Hanks Benoiton, a writer), Larry (now Lawrence M. Hanks, PhD, an entomology professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) and Tom, went with their father, while the youngest, Jim, now an actor and film maker, remained with his mother in Red Bluff, California. Afterwards, both parents remarried.
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