Jussie Smollett

LOS ANGELES - MAR 11:  Jussie Smollett at the PaleyFest Los Ange

Smollett in 2016, photo by kathclick/Bigstock.com

Birth Name: Justin Smollett

Place of Birth: Sonoma, California, United States

Date of Birth: June 21, 1982

*Ashkenazi Jewish (father)
*African-American, possibly other (mother)

Jussie Smollett is an American actor, singer, director, and photographer. He is the son of Janet (Harris) and Joel Smollett. His siblings include Jojo Smollett, Jazz Smollett, Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Jake Smollett, and Jocqui Smollett, all of whom have been involved in the entertainment business.

Jussie’s father, who was white, was Ashkenazi Jewish (from a family from Romania, Russia, and Poland). Jussie’s mother is black.

Jussie’s sister Jurnee stated in an interview that, aside from African-American, their mother has Native American, Louisiana Creole, and Irish ancestry. It is not clear if this is accurate.

Jussie’s paternal grandfather was Peter Smollett (the son of David Smollett and Dawley/Dawlly Levy). Peter was born in New York. David was a Romanian Jewish emigrant, born in Iași, the son of Jacob Smollett and Rebecca. Dawley was born in New York, to Polish Jewish parents, Charles Levy and Esty Cohen.

Jussie’s paternal grandmother is named Molly Hirschenson.

Jussie’s maternal grandparents are John Harris and Grace Smith.

Sources: Interview where Jussie’s sister Jurnee mentions her background – http://www.tsdmemphis.com

Jussie’s paternal grandfather, Peter Smollett, on the 1930 U.S. Census – https://www.familysearch.org

Obituary of Jussie’s paternal grandfather, Peter Smollett – https://www.genealogiequebec.com

Marriage record of Jussie’s paternal great-grandparents, David Smollett and Dawley/Dawlly Levy – https://www.familysearch.org

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