Coyle A Dempsey was born in 1922 to mother Emma (Howard) and father John Dempsey, a laborer who died in 1934 when Coyle A Dempsey was 12 years old. Coyle A Dempsey had eight siblings: John, Jane, Mary, Carbon, Isabelle, Calvin, Emma, and Zelma. The family lived in Pitcairn, Pennsylvania, which had a population of around 6,000 in 1940. When the war began, Coyle A Dempsey was around 17 years old and enlisted at 18 years old in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

1930 census. Dempsey family are on lines 15-25.

John Dempsey and Emma (Howard) Dempsey were married in December 1915. John was 43 years old and Emma was 19 years old when they were married.

Pennsylvania marriage license docket 1852-1968.

Front page of the Altoona Tribune July 30, 1940, the same day Coyle A Dempsey enlisted. The several articles about the war may have helped inspire Coyle A Dempsey to enlist.