The tittle says it all really, how did Black Holes appear so early in the universe, why not stars? arXiv:1601.05473 [pdf, ps, other] The Early Growth of the First Black Holes Jarrett L. Johnson (LANL), Francesco Haardt (Universita dell'Insubria) Comments: 13 pages, 9 figures, invited review submitted to PASA Subjects: Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA); Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics (astro-ph.CO) With detections of quasars powered by increasingly massive black holes (BHs) at increasingly early times in cosmic history over the past decade, there has been correspondingly rapid progress made on the theory of early BH formation and growth. Here we review the emerging picture of how the first massive BHs formed from the primordial gas and then grew to supermassive scales. We discuss the initial conditions for the formation of the progenitors of these seed BHs, the factors dictating the initial masses with which they form, and their initial stages of growth via accretion, which may occur at super-Eddington rates. Finally, we briefly discuss how these results connect to large-scale simulations of the growth of supermassive BHs over the course of the first billion years following the Big Bang.