Early life and family
Khan was born on 2 November 1965 in a Muslim family in New Delhi. He spent the first five years of his life in Mangalore, where his maternal grandfather, Ifthikar Ahmed, served as the chief engineer of the port in the 1960s.[b] According to Khan, his paternal grandfather, Jan Muhammad, an ethnic Pashtun, was from Afghanistan. Khan's father, Meer Taj Mohammed Khan, was an Indian independence activist in Peshawar, British India (present-day Pakistan). As of 2010, Khan's paternal family was still living in Shah Wali Qataal area of Peshawar's Qissa Khawani Bazaar. Meer was a follower of Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, and affiliated with the All Indian National Congress. He moved to New Delhi in 1948 after the partition of India. Khan's mother, Lateef Fatima, was the daughter of a senior government engineer.[c] His parents were married in 1959. Khan described himself on as "half Hyderabadi (mother), half Pathan (father), [and] some Kashmiri (grandmother)". His paternal cousins in Peshawar claim that the family is of Hindkowan origin from Kashmir, not Pashtun, and also contradict the claim that his grandfather was from Afghanistan.
Khan grew up in the Rajendra Nagar neighbourhood of Delhi. His father had several business ventures including a restaurant, and the family lived a middle-class life in rented apartments. Khan attended St. Columba's School in central Delhi where he excelled in his studies and in sports such as hockey and football, and received the school's highest award, the Sword of Honour. In his youth, he acted in stage plays and received praise for his imitations of Bollywood actors, of which his favourites were Dilip Kumar, Amitabh Bachchan and Mumtaz. One of his childhood friends and acting partners was Amrita Singh, who became a Bollywood actress. Khan enrolled at Hansraj College (1985–88) to earn his bachelor's degree in Economics, but spent much of his time at Delhi's Theatre Action Group (TAG), where he studied acting under the mentorship of theatre director Barry John. After Hansraj, he began studying for a master's degree in Mass Communications at Jamia Millia Islamia, but left to pursue his acting career. He also attended the National School of Drama in Delhi during his early career in Bollywood. His father died of cancer in 1981,[d] and his mother died in 1991 from complications of diabetes. After the death of their parents, his older sister, Shahnaz Lalarukh, born in 1960, fell into a depressed state and Khan took on the responsibility of caring for her. Shahnaz continues to live with her brother and his family in their Mumbai mansion.
Although Khan was given the birth name Shahrukh Khan, he prefers his name to be written as Shah Rukh Khan, and is commonly referred to by the acronym SRK. He married Gauri Chibber, a Punjabi Hindu, in a traditional Hindu wedding ceremony on 25 October 1991, after a six-year courtship. They have a son Aryan (born 1997) and a daughter Suhana (born 2000). In 2013, they became parents of a third child named AbRam, who was born through a surrogate mother. According to Khan, while he strongly believes in Islam, he also values his wife's religion. His children follow both religions; at home the Qur'an is situated next to the Hindu deities.