Frederick Lauper was born in the Bronx in 1920, the son of parents from Switzerland and Germany. French was the household language. His father was a private school teacher who soon moved the family out to Malverne, LI, and bought a home.
Frederick married Domenica Gallo, 10 years his junior, in Queens in April 1951. She preferred to be called by her middle name, Katrine. Their first child, Ellen, was born in November 1951 followed by Cynthia Ann in June 1953 — she was born in Astoria — and a son, Frederick Jr., in 1958. All lived at 95-11 104 St. in Ozone Park.
After her mother got remarried, Cynthia Ann never got along with her abusive stepfather. Going by Cyndi, she acted out with strange hairstyles and clothing. She left Richmond Hill High School and ran away at age 17. Going as far as Canada, she came back and joined different music groups to hone her talents.
Her breakout hit, “Girls Just Want to Have Fun,” in 1983 became a groundbreaking girls’ anthem.
Lauper has done it all; singer, songwriter, actress, winning two Grammys, a Tony and an Emmy; and is an activist. She has retained her Queens accent along with her four-octave singing range.