Don Lemon

Turner Upfront 2016 - Arrivals

Lemon in 2016, photo by Prphotos

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 has hosted the show CNN Tonight with Don Lemon since 2014.

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.

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:

*75.1% African
*22.7% European
*1.2% Asian/Native American
*1% No Match

A similar test displayed in 2014 stated that Don’s genetic ancestry is:

*76% African
——–*25% Nigeria
——–*22% Cameroon/Congo
*22% European

Source: Family history of Don’s mother’s side –

12 Responses

  1. dferg58 says:

    Don Lemon’s real last name is Richardson. His father was Wilmon Lee Richardson 1919-1975, an attorney.

  2. bablah says:

    Don’s paternal grandfather was Wilson Lemon (the son of Walter Lemon/Lemmon and Carean/Corinne Jones). Wilson was born in Louisiana. Walter was the son of Eugene Lemon and Virginia Vansaw.

    Don’s paternal grandmother was Beulah Merricks (the daughter of Andrew Merricks and Julia Ross). Beulah was born in Louisiana.

  3. bablah says:

    *Don’s maternal grandmother was Mary Henrietta Jackson

  4. andrew says:

    he scored:

    76% African
    — 25% Nigeria
    — 22% Cameroun/Congo

    22% European

  5. jackson9 says:

    You wrote that Don Lemon’s great-grandfather Harry Rivault (1882-1941) was the son of Charles B. Rivault and Marie Antionette Ferbos. I believe this is inaccurate and these are in fact his paternal grandparents. I think Harry Rivault was the son of Charles Alphonse Rivault (1856-1911) and Emilie Perret Reine (1857-1928).

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