Dustin Hoffman

by ethnic on December 27, 2007

HBO's "Luck" Los Angeles Premiere - Arrivals

Birth Name: Dustin Lee Hoffman

Place of Birth: Los Angeles, California, United States

Date of Birth: August 8, 1937

Ethnicity: Ashkenazi Jewish

Dustin Hoffman is an American actor and director. He has twice won the Academy Award for Best Actor, for Kramer vs. Kramer (1979) and Rain Man (1988).

He is the son of Lillian (Gold) and Harry Hoffman, who was a prop supervisor at Columbia Pictures. His father was born in Massachusetts, to Ukrainian Jewish parents. His mother was born in Chicago, Illinois, to a Polish Jewish father and a Romanian Jewish mother.

Dustin had a non-religious upbringing. He has said, “I don’t have any memory of celebrating holidays growing up that were Jewish”, and that he “realized” he was Jewish when he was around ten years old. Dustin became famous after starring in the 1967 film The Graduate.

Dustin is married to businessperson Lisa (Gottsegen) Hoffman, who is also Jewish. The couple has four children. Dustin also has two children with his first wife, Anne Byrne.

Dustin’s paternal grandfather was Frank Hoffman (the son of Moshko Goikhman, also known as Sam Hoffman, and of Libba Cagan). Frank was a Jewish emigrant from Belaja Zerkovy/Bila Tserkva, Kiev, Ukraine, then in the Russian Empire. Libba was the daughter of Mikhel Cagan and Mina Leybovna Tokar/Toker.

Dustin’s paternal grandmother was Esther Schiskoski/Cherkofsky/Cherry (the daughter of Harry Schiskoski). Esther was also a Jewish emigrant from Belaja Zerkovy/Bila Tserkva.

Dustin’s maternal grandfather was Louis Isadore Gold (the son of Osher Chaim Gold and Jeta Chona/Chana Epstein). Louis was a Jewish emigrant from Warsaw, Poland.

Dustin’s maternal grandmother was Celia Epstein. Celia was a Romanian Jewish immigrant.

Sources: Interview with Dustin about his Jewish faith – http://www.thejc.com

Genealogy of Dustin Hoffman – https://www.geni.com

Dustin’s father on the 1910 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org

Dustin’s mother on the 1920 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org

photo by PR photos

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

savanna May 23, 2016 at 7:39 am

Dustin on ‘Finding Your Roots’:

Freerk November 27, 2014 at 4:36 am

One of my heroes.

“Marathon Man” is one of my all-time favourite movies. The mentioned surnames of his ancestors are all of (Jewish-)German origin, so at one point in history theý came from Germany. (One branch definitely from Eppstein near Frankfurt in Hessia/Germany.)

andrew January 20, 2013 at 8:58 pm


Angel Syrene January 26, 2012 at 5:28 pm

He’s look Romanian

Anonymous August 15, 2010 at 5:33 am

He’s Romanian and Ukrainian.

nnnnn January 21, 2013 at 12:15 am

Of course.

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