Birth Name: Donald Carlton Lemon
Place of Birth: Baton Rouge, Louisiana, U.S.
Date of Birth: March 1, 1966
Ethnicity: African-American, some Cajun/French, small amount of Scots-Irish/Northern Irish/English
Don Lemon is an American journalist, author, and television news anchor. He was the host of the show CNN Tonight with Don Lemon, from 2014 to 2022, and a co-host of the show CNN This Morning, in 2023. He has also been a news correspondent for NBC programs Today and NBC Nightly News.
Don is the son of Katherine Marie (Bouligney) and Wilmon Lee Richardson. His father was an attorney, who was involved in a prominent and successful case against segregation of public transport in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, in the early 1960s. Don was born under the surname of his mother’s then-husband.
Don’s parents were/are both black. One of his maternal great-grandfathers was white.
Don’s paternal grandfather was named Tom Richardson. Tom was born in South Carolina.
Don’s paternal grandmother was named Reba “Reber” Scott/Williams. Reba was born in Florida. Her grandparents were named Ezekiel Jones and Emeline.
Don’s maternal grandfather was named Frank Bouligney, Sr. (the son of Easter Hardy).
Don’s maternal grandmother was Mary Henrietta Jackson (the daughter of Harry Octave Rivault and Catherine Jackson). Don’s grandmother Mary was the daughter of a white father and a black mother. Harry was the son of Charles Alphonse Rivault and Emilie/Emily Perret Reine. He had both more deep Cajun/French ancestry as well as recent French immigrant roots, along with a small amount of Scots-Irish/Northern Irish and English, ancestry. Don’s great-grandmother Catherine was the daughter of James “Jimmy” Jackson and Henrietta Brown. Henrietta’s mother Catherine Woods was born, c. 1850, in Louisiana, into slavery. She was the daughter of a white plantation owner, James C. Woods, and of a black slave woman, Cherry/Maria.
A DNA test whose results were displayed on the show Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. (2021) stated that Don’s genetic ancestry is:
*1.2% Asian/Native American
*1% No Match
A similar test displayed in 2014 stated that Don’s genetic ancestry is:
Source: Family history of Don’s mother’s side – http://blogs.ancestry.com