Della Reese

by ethnic on July 9, 2010

Birth Name: Delloreese Patricia Early

Date of Birth: July 6, 1931

Place of Birth: Black Bottom, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.

Date of Death: November 19, 2017

Place of Death: Los Angeles, California, U.S.

Ethnicity: African-American

Della Reese was an American singer, of nightclub, jazz, gospel, and pop music, as well as an actress and talk show host, in a career that spanned six decades. She is known for her 1959 hit single Don’t You Know, and for starring as Tess on the series Touched by an Angel. She was an ordained minister, through the Christian New Thought branch Unity. She also served as the senior minister and founder of her own church, Understanding Principles for Better Living.

Della was born in Detroit, the daughter of Nellie/Nelly (Mitchelle/Mitchell) and Richard Thaddeus Early, who were from Tennessee. Her parents were both African-American.

Della’s mother was said to have been of Cherokee Native American descent. It is not clear if this Cherokee ancestry has been verified/documented.

Della began singing in church as a child. She was married to concert producer and writer Franklin Thomas Lett, Jr., until her death. She had four children.

Sources: New York Times article about Della Reese –

Della Reese on the 1940 U.S. Census –

Profile by Total_23 and Ethnic

Helga Esteb /

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

fuzzybear44 November 20, 2017 at 3:26 pm

R.I.P Della

bablah November 20, 2017 at 2:42 pm

Rest in peace, Della.

Natasha February 12, 2011 at 5:45 pm

Sorry,I made a mistake,it’s actually Welsh.

Natasha February 12, 2011 at 5:44 pm

Her surname is Irish.

Indiablack May 23, 2012 at 9:01 am

@natasha, honey let me help
You out, i can see you are
Clueless, thats her daddy
Last name not her mothers
Honey, and when
Native americans lefted the
Reseravtion, to have a better
Life, alot of native americans
Adopted white irish,english and
Dutch last names, to live like
Everybody else (DUH) so get your
Facts straight, if a native american
Worked for you, you would right
The check for pay them by there
English name henry smith, not
Red cloud,white dove, dark wolf
Or sunflower, lol understand,
Again it was normal for native
American steal or adopted english
Names and lasted names, thats a
Facted, but i dont think dellas
Mother was full blooded native
American indian, we just need more
Proof, dellas mother maybe had indian
In her but i doubt it was full indian

10 cbs December 18, 2010 at 9:04 am

I prefer consumers who actually blog, it is really tough to obtain this form of insight just about any way. First-rate work.

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