Ezra Rachlin was born in Hollywood, California on December 5, 1915. His mother, Ella was a fine concert pianist and distinguished piano teacher. His father Herman was a Russian immigrant who, at the age of 13, was forced to leave the family home in Minsk to avoid the pogroms. He walked from Russia to Hamburg where he boarded a ship for New York where, to his astonishment, he found his family had emigrated before him. In New York Herman Rachlin became a successful knitwear designer but his first love was always music. Attending a piano recital by Ella Abrahams, he fell in love with her and they were married. They travelled to Los Angeles for their honeymoon and liked California so much that they decided to settle there.