Bonnie Elizabeth Parker was born on October 1, 1910 in Rowena, Texas, the second of three children. Her father, Charles Parker, a bricklayer, died when Bonnie was four. Her mother, Emma Krause, moved with the children to her parents’ home in Cement City, an industrial suburb of Dallas, where she found work as a seamstress.
In her second year of high school, Parker met Roy Thornton. They dropped out of school and were married on September 25, 1926, six days before Parker’s 16th birthday. Their marriage, marked by his frequent absences and brushes with the law, was short-lived, and after January 1929 their paths never crossed again.