Born in San Francisco on April 4, 1930, Alfred Joseph Mirabelli was a first generation American with his parents who immigrated from Italy in the early 1900s. His mother, Antonietta Canziani, came from Milan through Ellis Island on April 30, 1921 at age 15 and was a hairdresser. His father, Emilio Mirabelli (1893 - 1981), was a veteran of World War I, which he joined the service for the United States in order to gain citizenship. Mirabelli’s father didn’t have an official occupation, but it is speculated that he ran gambling throughout the state of California where they lived. Due to this, and the fact that he was an only child, his family was well off, and even owned a substantial amount of property, including an entire hillside in Novato, California. His mother never wanted children, but finally agreed under the stipulation that his father would take care of him, which he did. This is perhaps what sparked his eventual interest in military service.