Eddie Murphy grew up in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Bushwick. His mother, Lillian, was a telephone operator, and his father, Charles Edward Murphy, was a transit police officer and an amateur actor and comedian. His father died when he was young. When Murphy's single mother became ill, the eight-year-old and his older brother lived in foster care for one year. In interviews, the actor and comedian says that his time in foster care was influential in developing his sense of humour. Later Murphy and his older brother Charlie were raised in Roosevelt, New York by his mother and stepfather Vernon Lynch, a foreman at an ice cream plant. Around the age of 15, Murphy was writing and performing his own routines, which were heavily influenced by Bill Cosby and Richard Pryor.