Richard Starkey, MBE (born 7 July 1940), known as Ringo Starr, is an English musician, singer and actor who gained worldwide fame as the drummer for the Beatles. He sang lead vocals on several of their songs, including "With a Little Help from My Friends", "Yellow Submarine" and their version of "Act Naturally". He is also credited as a co-writer of "What Goes On", "Flying" and "Dig It", and as the sole author of "Don't Pass Me By" and "Octopus's Garden".
He was twice afflicted by life-threatening illnesses during his childhood, and as a result of the related prolonged hospitalisations, he fell behind his peers scholastically. At age eight, he had remained illiterate: his classmates nicknamed him "Lazarus" after a twelve-month recovery from peritonitis following a routine appendectomy. After several years of twice weekly tutoring he had nearly caught up to his peers academically, but in 1953, he contracted tuberculosis and was admitted to a sanatorium, where he remained for two years. Following his return he entered the workforce, but lacking motivation and discipline, his initial attempts at gainful employment proved unsuccessful. He briefly held a position with the British Rail then as an apprentice machinist at a Liverpool equipment manufacturer. Soon after, he became interested in the UK skiffle craze, developing a fervent admiration for the genre. He cofounded his first band, the Eddie Clayton Skiffle Group in 1957, and they had earned several prestigious local bookings before the fad succumbed to American rock and roll by early 1958.