Douglas Frederick Springsteen: How Did Bruce Springsteen’s Father Die?

Douglas Frederick Springsteen

Douglas Frederick Springsteen is Bruce Springsteen’s father. The son of Douglas is a well-known American singer and songwriter who has released 21 studio albums during a career spanning six decades. He is an originator of heartland rock, a genre combining mainstream rock music with poetic and socially conscious lyrics that tell a narrative about working-class American life.

Douglas Frederick Springsteen: Bio Summary

Name Douglas Frederick Springsteen
Famous as father of Bruce Springsteen
Gender Male
Date of birth 31 August 1924
Died 26 April 1998 (aged 73)
Parents Frederick H. Springsteen and Alice McNicholas Springsteen
Spouse Adele Ann Springsteen
Children Bruce Springsteen, Virginia Springsteen Shave, and Pamela Springsteen
Occupation Bus driver

Who Is The Father Of Bruce Springsteen?

Bruce Springsteen’s father is called Douglas Frederick “Dutch” Springsteen. Dutch was born on 31 August 1924, in Freehold, Monmouth County, New Jersey, USA. His parents are called Frederick H. Springsteen and Alice McNicholas Springsteen. He is the brother of Virginia Springsteen. Much is unknown about his life as a child and his family.

Dutch graduated from the Lima Roman Catholic Church’s school. He was an Army veteran of World War II but he retired from the service and worked as a bus driver at San Francisco Airport and a corrections officer, among many other jobs. He is said to have worked as the communicant of St. Rose of Lima Roman Catholic Church located in Freehold. He also worked in factories.

Dutch was the husband of Adele Ann (née Zerilli; born 1925), who was originally from the Bay Ridge neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York. Adele was a legal secretary and also acted as the main breadwinner in the family. They are the parents of Bruce Frederick Joseph Springsteen, Virginia Springsteen Shave, and Pamela Springsteen. Bruce is an award-winning singer and songwriter, known as a member of the E Street Band.

Bruce is one of the best-selling music artists of all time. Pamela who had an acting career, left to pursue photography. In her brief acting career, she played the role of serial killer Angela Baker in the cult slasher/comedy horror films Sleepaway Camp II: Unhappy Campers (1988), and Sleepaway Camp III: Teenage Wasteland (1989), for which she is best known for. She is a still photographer in the film and music industry.

ALSO, READ: Adele Ann Springsteen: Is Bruce Springsteen’s Mother Still Alive?

Douglas Had Mental Health Issues

Douglas Frederick Springsteen battled mental illness throughout his life, which worsened in his later years. He is said to have struggled to get financially stable but did not succeed in doing so, which made him mentally disturbed. Per a source, he drank ritually every night and constantly berated his only son, Bruce Springsteen.

Douglas wasn’t able to earn enough money to look after his family so his wife, Adele Ann played the role of the family’s main breadwinner. During an interview, Bruce mentioned that his mother earned more than his father. Douglas was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia as an adult.

Douglas’ Son Tried To Be Like Him

Douglas Frederick Springsteen’s son Bruce Springsteen tried to act like his dad. He was following his father’s lead. He reportedly ‘put on his father’s work clothes’ and went to work. Bruce said: “The thing that happens is: when we can’t get the love we want from the parent we want it from, how do you create the intimacy you need? I can’t get to him and I can’t have him. I’ll be him.”

“That’s what I’ll do. I’ll be him … I’m way into my 30s before I even have any idea that that’s my method of operation. I’m on stage. I’m in workmen’s clothes. I’ve never worked a job in my life.” He admitted: “My dad was a beefy, bulky guy. I’ve played freaking guitar my whole life, but I’ve got 20 or 30 extra pounds on me from hitting the gym.”

“Where’d that come from? Why do I spend hours lifting up and putting down heavy things for no particular reason? My entire body of work, everything that I’ve cared about, everything that I’ve written about, draws from his life story.”

He added: “Here is where I was lucky. At 32, I go into hardcore analysis. I don’t have my children until I’m 40, so I’m eight years into looking into a lot of these things because what I found out about that archetype was it was f***ing destructive in my life. It drove away people I cared about. It kept me from knowing my true self.

“And I realized: ‘Well, if you wanna follow this road, go ahead. But you’re going to end up on your own, my friend. And if you want to invite some people into your life, you better learn how to do that.’” However, Douglas inspired his son Bruce’s songs and monologues about sullen, angry fathers and strong-willed sons.

ALSO READ: Who Is Sam Ryan Springsteen, Bruce Springsteen And Patti Scialfa’s Son?

How Did Douglas Frederick Springsteen Die?

Bruce Springsteen’s father, Douglas Frederick Springsteen died due to heart ailments. He took his last breath on 26 April 1998, in Belmont, San Mateo County, California, USA. He was at the age of 73 years when he died. He was laid to rest at Saint Rose of Lima Cemetery, in Freehold Township, Monmouth County, New Jersey, USA.

Ruth Kai Botchway

Ruth Kai Botchway is a Senior Editor at She is a graduate of All Stars Media College (2021) with a Diploma in Journalism and Media Studies. With more than two years experience in Journalism, she has served as an intern at Accra FM and worked with Green TV and Ashiaman TV. She worked as a Maritime Journalist/ influencer, producing Port and Maritime agenda initially aired on Ashiaman TV. You can reach her via email:

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