Stan Getz was born at St. Vincent's Hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on Feb. 2, 1927. He had one brother, Robert, who was born on October 30, 1932. His parents had come from the Kiev area in the Ukraine in 1903, tired and fearful of the Pogroms. The Getz family had first settled in West Philadelphia, but moved to New York City after Stan's fraternal uncle told them there were better jobs in New York. They lived first on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, and then moved up to the East Bronx.
Stan's father had many jobs, but he wasn't aggressive by nature and was thus often unemployed. Stan's mother was a more demanding person and pushed her first son hard to study. She hoped he would become a doctor or a professor and took extra care of him, setting straight A standards for his schoolwork. Stan worked hard in school. During hot Bronx summers, Stan developed a love for swimming at Crotona Park. At this same park, he sold sunflower seeds in two-cent packets that he had purchased in bulk. Stan had his Bar Mitzvah in 1940. Neither Stan nor Robert had much spiritual grounding. Between them, they would have four wives and seven children, none of whom were raised Jewish.