Kenneth Harvey Abbott II was born in Upland, Calif., to Kenneth H. Abbott, M.D. and Mariann Donnelly on May 28, 1937. He was delivered by his grandfather, Frank Abbott, M.D. He spent his early years in Rochester MN, where his father was trained as a neurosurgeon at the Mayo Clinic, and Worthington Ohio where his father set up practice. He attended college at Pacific Union College in Angwin, Calif., where he studied pre-med.