Frieda Levin Lorber was born in New York City on May 7, 1899, to Sigmund Levin, a real estate developer, and Clara (Bergman) Levin. In her early years, Frieda was extremely interested in classical music. She studied voice at the Institute of Music and Art and sang with the chorus of the Metropolitan Opera. On December 7, 1924, she married Albert Lorber. The Lorbers, who divorced in the early 1940s, had one child, Mortimer, who became a doctor.