Travolta is the youngest of six children, and was born and raised in Englewood, New Jersey, an inner-ring suburb of Bergen County, New Jersey. His father, Salvatore Travolta (November 1912–May 1995), was a semiprofessional American football player turned tire salesman and partner in a tire company. His mother, Helen Cecilia (née Burke; January 18, 1912–December 1978), was an actress and singer who had appeared in The Sunshine Sisters, a radio vocal group, and acted and directed before becoming a high school drama and English teacher. His siblings Joey, Ellen, Ann, Margaret, and Sam Travolta were all inspired by their mother's love of theatre and drama and acted. His father was a second-generation Italian American with roots in Godrano, Sicily, and his mother was Irish American. He grew up in an Irish-American neighborhood and said that his household was predominantly Irish in culture. He was raised Roman Catholic, but converted to Scientology in 1975. Travolta attended Dwight Morrow High School, but dropped out as a junior at age 17 in 1971.