His father was a soldier, sheriff and photographer from New York and a great admirer of the former president. His mother, May Venzor, the Salvation Army worker from El Paso, Texas.
He had a younger brother, Danny, who was wayward. When Ted started to make some money in 1941, he had the house on Utah Street extended and refurbished. Danny immediately backed a truck up to the house, moved all the new furniture, including a washing machine and a sewing machine, selling these items. May, who had been able to get Danny out of his previous scrapes, gave up this time and had him arrested. He spent some time in prison.