Birth Name: William Maher
Place of Birth: New York City, New York, U.S.
Date of Birth: January 20, 1956
*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
*1.8% Broadly European
*1.1% Broadly Southern 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, with roots in Killury, County Kerry. 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 – http://www.geni.com
Bill’s paternal grandfather, William Aloysius Maher, on the 1910 U.S. Census – https://www.familysearch.org
Bill’s paternal grandmother, Mary Agnes O’Toole, on the 1900 U.S. Census – https://www.familysearch.org
Bill’s mother on the 1930 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org
Bill’s maternal grandfather, Nathan Berman, on the 1900 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org