Warren was born May 6, 1947 in Des Moines, Iowa. He was the son of Albert E. Hove and Helen R. (Knight) Hove. They moved to Stanhope, Iowa, in 1949. He attended the Stanhope Elementary School in Stanhope and graduated from South Hamilton, Jewell, Iowa, in 1965. He drove a school bus there when he was a junior and a senior in high school.