Browne was born October 9, 1948, in Heidelberg, Germany, where his father Clyde Jack Browne, an American serviceman, was stationed for his job assignment with the Stars and Stripes newspaper. Browne’s mother, Beatrice Amanda (née Dahl), was a Minnesota native of Norwegian ancestry. Browne has three siblings. Roberta “Berbie” Browne was born in 1946 in Nuremberg, Germany; and Edward Severin Browne was born in 1949 in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. His younger sister, Gracie Browne, was born a number of years later. At the age of three, Browne and his family moved to his grandfather’s house, Abbey San Encino, in the Highland Park district of Los Angeles. In his teens, he began singing folk songs in local venues such as the Ash Grove and The Troubador Club. He attended Sunny Hills High School in Fullerton, California, graduating in 1966.