Hanks was born in Concord, California. His father, Amos Mefford Hank, was a distant relative of President Abraham Lincoln, through Lincoln's mother, Nancy Hanks. His mother, Janet Marylyn (née Frager), was a hospital worker; she is of Portuguese ancestry.

Hanks's parents divorced in 1960. The family's three oldest children, Sandra (now Sandra Hanks Benoiton, a writer), Larry (now Lawrence M. Hanks, PhD, an entomology professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) and Tom, went with their father, while the youngest, Jim, now an actor and film maker, remained with his mother in Red Bluff, California. Afterwards, both parents remarried.

Tom Hanks' Family Tree