Doris Day (born Doris Mary Kappelhoff; April 3, 1922 – May 13, 2019) was an American actress, singer, and animal welfare activist. She began her career as a big band singer in 1939, achieving commercial success in 1945 with two No. 1 recordings, "Sentimental Journey" and "My Dreams Are Getting Better All the Time" with Les Brown & His Band of Renown. During the war, troops referred to her as "the American V-2" She left Brown to embark on a solo career and recorded more than 650 songs from 1947 to 1967.
Doris Mary Kappelhoff was born on April 3, 1922, in Cincinnati, Ohio, the daughter of Alma Sophia (née Welz; 1895–1976) and William Joseph Kappelhoff (1892–1967). Her mother was a homemaker, and her father was a music teacher and choirmaster. Her grandparents were all German. For most of her life, Day reportedly believed she had been born in 1924 and reported her age accordingly; it was not until her 95th birthday – when the Associated Press found her birth certificate, showing a 1922 date of birth – that she learned otherwise.
The youngest of three siblings, she had two older brothers: Richard (who died before her birth) and Paul, two to three years older. Due to her father's alleged infidelity, her parents separated. She developed an early interest in dance, and in the mid-1930s formed a dance duo with Jerry Doherty that performed locally in Cincinnati. A car accident on October 13, 1937, injured her right leg and curtailed her prospects as a professional dancer.