Musician Biographies » Stevie Wonder » The World in Darkness - Miracle Baby, His Own Way Of Seeing, Detroit And Change, Using Sound To See The World

The World in Darkness - Miracle Baby

stevie incubator lulu born

Stevie Wonder was born on May 13, 1950, in Saginaw, Michigan. His birth name was Steveland Morris, and he was the third son of Lulu Mae Hardaway. Stevie's two older half brothers, Calvin and Milton, were sons of Lulu's first husband. Any confusion between fathers has been explained by Stevie like this: “I have a lovely mother and she was fortunate enough to be married to more than one man.”

Lulu was the head of the household in Saginaw. Her first husband left the family shortly after Milton was born. Stevie's own father left his mother and the three boys shortly after Stevie was born. Lulu's three sons had no father for the three years that they lived in Saginaw. Lulu cleaned houses to earn money for the family.

Stevie was born one month before he was due. His premature birth was hard on his infant body. Back then, the regular course of action was to put a premature baby in an incubator. An incubator gives a baby oxygen until it can breathe on its own. When Stevie was taken out of the incubator, he was blind. “I have a dislocated nerve in one eye,” Stevie explained. “A cataract [milky film] is on the other. It may have happened from being in the incubator too long and receiving too much oxygen,” Doctors did not know the effects of pure oxygen on infants at the time. “A girl who was born that same day I was,” Stevie said, “was also put into the incubator, and she died. I personally think I'm lucky to be alive.”

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