Albert Calavicci was born June 15, 1934. His father was an immigrant from the
Abruzzi section of Italy; his mother's side of the family was of Russian
descent. His only sibling was a younger sister named Trudy who had Down
Syndrome. The Calavicci family life was an unstable one at best . Al's father
was often off in search of work, and went even as far as the oil fields of Saudi
Arabia to try and procure employment. It was during one of these times that Al's
mother left the family, causing the youngsters to be separated; Al was placed in
an orphanage, and Trudy was sent to an institution.
Their father returned to America and bought the family a little house to live
together in; but sadly soon after they moved in he developed cancer and died.
The children were once more separated, and Al couldn't even take comfort in his
religion, since he lost his faith in God over his father's death. (He
periodically mentioned family members such as uncles Jack and Stawpah (sp) so it
is known that he had family other than his parents and sister. It can only be
speculated as to why they never stepped forward to take in the children when
they were left on their own.)
Al ran away at least twice from the orphanage, the first attempt landing him
in the company of a kindly professional pool player, the second time he joined
up with a circus. When he was old enough, he went to retrieve his sister from
the institution, only to find that she had died of pneumonia at age 16. Around
this time Al went to college, first at MIT and
later at the Naval Academy in Annapolis,
where he excelled in the sport of baseball, both as a pitcher and a hitter. It
is unclear as to whether he attended college for a total of 3, 4 or 6 years. His
uniform is decorated with ribbons showing that he was in Korea during the war,
though he never mentions having served there. Unless the timeline
has been altered so that the Korean conflict occurred at a different time than
we now recognize it as having taken place, Al would have had to have graduated
from college by no later than the spring of 1954. Perhaps he managed to begin
his college education prior to the age of 18, so that he graduated in time to be
sent to Korea as a pilot. Or, though less likely, he went to Korea as an
enlisted man and later returned home to complete his education.
By the time we meet him in 1999, Al is a highly decorated
naval officer as denoted by the ribbons on his uniform. But long before he
became the director of Project Quantum Leap, he was a naval aviator whose
tremendous love of flying and the Navy kept returning
him to the cockpit despite harrowing encounters in the air. By the mid-1950's he
was stationed at NAS Pensacola,
where he reportedly earned the nickname of "Bingo Bango Bongo" thanks
to an emergency landing and a set of unnamed triplets.
This nickname was later shortened to "Bingo" and used as Al's
flight call sign. During his time in Florida he was involved with one married
woman, navy nurse Lisa Sherman, and accused of killing another, the wife of a
superior officer (thanks to Sam's intervention he was acquitted.) Originally,
his relationship with Lisa ended when she was killed in a tragic automobile
accident. We do not know why the relationship ended after Sam righted the wrongs
in that timeline and Lisa no longer lost her life. (Perhaps she divorced her
philandering husband and by some quirk of fate ended up marrying Dirk Simon, a
man who in one timeline was married to Al's first and most loved wife? Who is to
say it couldn't happen? In Quantum Leaping, anything can happen.)
At one time Al was stationed in Japan, though he never specified as to
exactly when he was there. By 1961 he was married to the love of his
life (127 KB), Beth,
another Navy nurse, who worked in the burn ward at the Balboa
Naval Hospital in San Diego while he was overseas. Whether he was also
stationed in California when he wasn't on sea duty was never mentioned, but the
Calaviccis did have a house (music,
the San Diego area. Beth said that in eight years of marriage they had spent
less than two of them together due to time at sea and
TDY assignments. Frustrated with her nearly nonexistent marriage she was
prepared to divorce him (263
KB), but changed her
mind as she felt she couldn't do such a thing to a man going off to war.
Ever the courageous pilot, Al flew an F-4
Phantom over Cuba during the missile crisis, and later in 1967 while on his
second tour of Viet Nam, he was shot down in an A-4 Intruder.
He spent the next six years (479
as a POW
somewhere outside of Cham Hoi. He was repatriated in the mid-1970's and returned
to an empty home (385
KB); his wife, having declared him dead 4 years earlier, had
remarried and moved away. Beth and Al had no children resulting from their
marriage; he felt the military lifestyle of constantly relocating would be
unfair to them.
Al flew more than just airplanes; he orbited the moon ten times as an astronaut
on an Apollo mission for NASA. (This is
another instance in which there are liberties taken with the timeline. To have
orbited the moon Al would have to have been on a mission several years earlier
than implied, as there was no mission of this sort being done at the time he was
at NASA. Or to have flown in space when he said he had, he would have
participated in the Apollo-Soyuz mission rather than a moon orbit.) Sometime
after his experiences at NASA, Al went on to work on several government
projects, including the mysteriously named "Star
Bright" Project where he met his brother-in-spirit Dr. Sam Beckett.
When that project closed down, they decided to continue working together on a
new one, "Quantum Leap."
Al is a very sensitive man who cares greatly for people, especially those in
need or who are discriminated against. He feels strongly about protecting the
environment and animals as well. He is a very sensual man, taking great pleasure
in cooking and eating a variety of ethnic foods, listening to a tremendous range
of musical genres, and wearing clothes of very distinctive styles, colors and
patterns. He loves anything fast: motorcycles, cars, airplanes, and of course .
. . women. He claims to have had many women in his life, and that he loved every
one of them for at least as long as he slept with them. He was married five
times, his wives being Beth, an unnamed woman of Hungarian heritage, Ruthie,
Sharon, and Maxine. He had numerous other relationships aside from these
marriages, and numberless encounters that never even qualified as relationships.
He makes the most of his status as a hologram, leering after women during every
leap Sam makes, with the exception of one leap in particular; Al never takes
notice of a single female when Sam arrives in San Diego right at the time when
Beth loses all hope and is about to declare him dead.
It is presumed that his "love 'em and leave 'em" attitude began
with his abandonment by his mother as a child, and that coming home from the war
to find his wife had given up on him only compounded the problem. He couldn't
bear the pain of another woman leaving him, so he
left them first. It is quite possible that many of the women in his life
were drawn to him because of this attitude; they may have fallen victim to the
classic supposition that they could 'fix' him. They would be the one woman who
could love him enough to heal him, to make him want to stay. Sadly, this never
seemed to work. His relationship with his coworker Tina from the Quantum Leap
Project, though fraught with difficulties and infidelities, showed signs of
becoming a stable union with Al eventually confessing
(69 KB) that he loved her. In the
end, however, it mattered not as Sam changed history and reunited Al with his
lost love Beth. In the later post -"Mirror"-Leap timeline, Al and Beth
remained married and would have four daughters after he returned from Viet Nam.
Some might say that it was poetic justice, giving a womanizer such as Al so many
girls to keep away from men like himself.
For a more detailed account of Al's life, with accompanying
references to the "Quantum Leap" episodes in which the
information is given, refer to : "Quantum
Leap: A to Z"