Bill Maher

by follers on October 20, 2012

Birth Name: William Maher

Place of Birth: New York City, New York, U.S.

Date of Birth: January 20, 1956

*Irish (father)
*Ashkenazi Jewish (mother)

Bill Maher is an American television personality, comedian, political commentator, writer, critic, actor, and producer. He has hosted the show Real Time with Bill Maher since 2003. He previously hosted the show Politically Incorrect from 1993 to 2002.

His father, William Aloysius Maher, Jr., was of Irish Catholic descent, with some roots in County Kerry. His mother, Julie (Berman), was Jewish (of Russian Jewish, Polish Jewish, and Hungarian Jewish descent). Maher was raised Catholic, and did not find out about his mother’s heritage until he was thirteen.

A DNA test taken by the show Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. (2016) stated that Bill’s genetic ancestry is:

*49.6% Ashkenazi [Jewish]
*41.9% British & Irish
*2.9% French & German
*2.7% Broadly Northern European
*1.1% Broadly Southern European
*1.8% Broadly European

Bill’s paternal grandfather was William Aloysius Maher, Sr. (the son of James Maher and Mary C. Navil). Bill’s grandfather William was born in New Jersey. Bill’s great-grandfather James was born in New Jersey, to Irish parents, William Maher and Elizabeth Fagan. Mary C. was also born in New Jersey, also to Irish parents.

Bill’s paternal grandmother was Mary Agnes O’Toole (the daughter of William J. O’Toole and Annie M. Greany). Bill’s grandmother Mary Agnes was born in New Jersey. Bill’s great-grandfather William was born in New Jersey, to Irish parents. Annie was born in New York, to Irish parents, Dennis Greany and Mary Dalton.

Bill’s maternal grandfather was Nathan Berman (the son of Louis Berman and Annie Cohen). Nathan was born in New York, to Jewish parents from Poland/Russia. Louis was the son of Jacob Berman and Yetta Finkelstein.

Bill’s maternal grandmother was Stella Fox (born Stella Fuchs, the daughter of Samuel/Simon Fuchs, later Fox, and of Esther Freundlich). Stella was born in New York, to Jewish parents from either Hungary or Germany (depending on the census). Samuel was the son of Abraham Fuchs and Toube/Taube Kurnhanser/Kornhauser. Esther was the daughter of Bernhard/Bernath Dov Freundlich and Julia Neuman.

Sources: Genealogy of Bill Maher –

Bill’s paternal grandfather, William Aloysius Maher, on the 1910 U.S. Census –

Bill’s paternal grandmother, Mary Agnes O’Toole, on the 1900 U.S. Census –

Bill’s mother on the 1930 U.S. Census –

Bill’s maternal grandfather, Nathan Berman, on the 1900 U.S. Census –

image via Joe Seer/

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

crunty February 18, 2017 at 9:54 am

[email protected] and Irish in the DNA test, as well as German and French. The DNA test looks ridiculous. You can’t group the English in with the Irish, and the French in with the Germans. American DNA tests are simplistic and laughable.

bearboy February 18, 2017 at 10:01 am

I agree with you! I think ancestry DNA is the only test that can separate British and Irish DNA. But ancestry DNA is worse in the sense that they don’t have only a German/French category they have a whole “European West”. Hopefully DNA gets more precise in the future.

typepope May 29, 2018 at 4:08 am

English and Irish are closely related genetically, and Northern Ireland is part of the UK.
Not sure what you’re babbling about…
Many DNA companies specialize in British Isles ancestry and will breakdown regional differences.
GEDmatch is FREE and anyone can upload their raw data to do so.

bearboy January 12, 2016 at 5:43 pm

His Irish heritage goes back to county Kerry! I love the Irish factor episode I have family from county Cork :)

follers January 12, 2016 at 6:51 pm

Remarkably, while the episode mentioned O’Reilly’s tiny sliver of Colonial American roots, and O’Brien’s Afro-Cuban and 1/8th Scottish roots, they said nothing about Bill Maher’s mother being Jewish, the only ancestry group any of the guests had that they omitted from the episode.

They said nothing about Harry Connick, Jr.’s mother being Jewish during his episode either.

bearboy January 12, 2016 at 7:02 pm

I agree that is strange. Follers I thought I should tell you I was watching the O’Reilly Factor last night where he was talking about his DNA results and he said he was only 90% British/Irish descent. If you find any links to the ethnic breakdown please let me know.

bearboy January 12, 2016 at 7:02 pm

to the DNA results

Alice January 13, 2016 at 5:47 am

23andMe use British/Irish category and 90% is very strong. From that result he would be of fully Irish ancestry. Irish get the highest percentage of the British/Irish category. Very few people will be 100% of anything.

gel January 13, 2016 at 1:39 am
neiltennant August 4, 2015 at 3:14 pm

dOES anybody know the cancelled DADS

there is a dad who looks like him and also jewish

neiltennant August 1, 2015 at 6:05 am

he looks indeed very hungarian

i don’t know how to describe but i know hungarians who have similar face

cwm85 August 1, 2015 at 8:08 am

At least you didn’t say he was mixed with black or native this time lol

Capricious April 1, 2015 at 6:11 pm

Love him.

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