A Brief Biography, A Review of Rabe's Work for the New Haven Register, and A Stage History
David William Rabe was bom on March 10, 1940, at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in Dubuque, Iowa, to William and Ruth (McCormick) Rabe. At the time the Rabes lived at 716 1/2 Ries Street, in the German neighborhood on the north end of Dubuque. 1 The playwright's father taught high school history and coached freshman football at Loras Academy from 1945 to 1955. But he left teaching to find more lucrative employment at the Dubuque Packing Company, where he had moonlighted a few years before. The senior Rabe worked for this company for 22 years. A writer himself, Rabe's father worked on a couple of novels, including The Killing Time, which (alas) were never published. Rabe's mother worked for 18 years at the local J. C. Penney's. In 1955 the Rabes moved from 1411 1/2 Lincoln Avenue to 2065 Lincoln. Rabe's parents still live in Dubuque. The Rabes had a daughter Marsha bom in 1948, seven and a half years after David.