Mother Teresa was born Gonxha Bojaxhiu, daughter of Dronda and Nikola Bojaxhiu. Her parents had a total of five children; she was one of three to survive and was also the youngest. Mother Teresa had an older brother named Lazar and an older sister named Aga, and the entire family lived in one of two homes owned by her father. Despite popular belief, Mother Teresa did not grow up poor.
The family lived in Skopje, Yugoslavia, and were of Albanian descent. The family were devout Catholics and were deeply involved in the local church. Mother Teresa's father owned his own construction business and was very successful. However, when she was just 8 years old, her father died suddenly. According to Biography, it was speculated that Mother Teresa's father was poisoned by political enemies, but no one knows for sure how he died.
After her father's death, Mother Teresa became very close to her mother. Her mother taught her to be strong, compassionate and deeply committed to helping others, especially the poor. Mother Teresa's mother treated everyone with love and kindness, and she displayed all of the qualities that she would ultimately instill in her daughter. Mother Teresa left home at age 18 to become a missionary, and she would never see her mother alive again.