Cornelius Crane Chase was born to Edward and Cathalene Crane. His father was a prominent book editor and his mother a concert pianist. He was born October 8, 1943 in New York City as part of a family that represented 14 generations of New Yorkers.
Chevy Chase went to prep school at Stockbridge School in Massachusetts before attending Riverdale Country School in New York. He then went on to Bard College in Upstate New York, where he studied pre-med and received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English in 1967.
He did not enroll in medical school, which would have made him draft eligible, and he later would tell Pat Zajak that the reason he wasn’t drafted was because he convinced the draft board that he deserved a 4-F classification by saying he had homosexual tendencies. (He later said it was a false claim.)
Chevy worked lots of odd jobs, including cab driver, motorcycle messenger, construction worker, busboy, fruit picker and waiter before becoming famous as a writer, actor and comedian. He also played drums for a band that later became known as Steely Dan.
He began writing for Mad Magazine and performing with the National Lampoon radio show before he was cast on Saturday Night Live. He left SNL in 1976 and went on to make a string of movies and currently stars in the NBC sitcom Community.