Birth Name: Thomas Baptiste Morello
Place of Birth: Harlem, New York City, New York, U.S.
Date of Birth: May 30, 1964
*Kikuyu Kenyan (father)
*Italian, Irish (mother)
Tom Morello is an American musician, singer, songwriter, and political activist. He is known as a member of the rock band Rage Against the Machine, whose other members were Tim Commerford, Zach de la Rocha, and Brad Wilk, and of the supergroup Audioslave, whose other members were Commerford, Chris Cornell, and Wilk.
His father, Ngethe Njoroge, was born in Kenya, and served as Kenya’s first ambassador to the United Nations. His mother, Mary Rose (Morello), was an American of Italian and Irish descent. His parents met in August 1963, while attending a pro-democracy protest in Nairoby, Kenya. After discovering her pregnancy, Mary returned to the United States with Njoroge in November, and married in New York City. When Tom was sixteen months old, Njoroge returned to his native Kenya, and denied his paternity of his son. Tom was raised solely by his mother in Libertyville, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago.
Tom’s paternal great-uncle, Jomo Kenyatta, was the first elected president in Kenyan history.
Two of Tom’s paternal great-grandparents were Muigai wa Kung’u and Wambui.
Tom’s maternal grandparents were John Baptist “Bab” Morello (the son of Quinto Nicolao Morello and Rosa T. Mussatto) and Gladys I. John was born in Illinois, to Italian parents. Gladys had Irish ancestry. His ancestors came from Pratiglione, Province of Turin, Piedmont, Italy, and from Vesignano, in the commune of Rivarolo Canavese, also in Province of Turin. Tom visited the town and found that his “Morello” line can be traced back to Giovanni Morello, who moved to Illinois in the mid 1800s.
Sources: Tom’s mother on the 1930 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org
Tom’s maternal grandfather, John Baptist “Bab” Morello, on the 1920 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org
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