Richard Phillips Feynman was born on May 11, 1918, in Far Rockaway, Queens, New York. His family originated from Russia and Poland; both of his parents were Jewish. They were not religious and by his youth Feynman described himself as an "avowed atheist". Feynman (in common with the famous physicists Edward Teller and Albert Einstein) was a late talker; by his third birthday he had yet to utter a single word. The young Feynman was heavily influenced by his father, Melville, who encouraged him to ask questions to challenge orthodox thinking. From his mother, Lucille, he gained the sense of humor that he had throughout his life. As a child, he delighted in repairing radios and had a talent for engineering. His younger sister Joan also became a professional physicist.