Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson
Birth Name: Dwayne Douglas Johnson
Place of Birth: Hayward, Alameda, California, United States
Date of Birth: May 2, 1972
*father – African-Canadian/Black Nova Scotian [including Beninese], small amount of Irish
*mother – Samoan, as well as 1/16th Scottish
Dwayne Johnson, also credited as The Rock, Flex Kavana, and Rocky Maivia, is an American actor, producer, businessperson, professional wrestler, and American/Canadian professional football player. He has starred in The Scorpion King, The Rundown, Doom, Gridiron Gang, Race to Witch Mountain, The Other Guys, Faster, Journey 2: The Mysterious Island, G.I. Joe: Retaliation, Hercules (2014), San Andreas, Moana, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, Rampage, Skyscraper, Fighting with My Family, Jungle Cruise, DC League of Super-Pets, Black Adam, and the Fast and the Furious films, among many other productions; many of his films are among the most popular of the 21st century.
He is the son of Ata Johnson (born Feagaimaleata or Mataniufeagaimaleata Fitisemanu Maivia) and Rocky Johnson (born Wayde Douglas Bowles), a Canadian and American wrestler. His father was also billed as Sweet Ebony Diamond and Drew Glasteau. A picture of Dwayne at a young age, along with his parents, can be seen here.
Dwayne’s father, who was black, African-Canadian, was born in Amherst, Nova Scotia, Canada, and had Black Nova Scotian heritage. Black Nova Scotians descend from African-Americans who left the U.S. after the American Revolution, having sided with the British. Dwayne’s paternal grandparents were both black, and Dwayne has stated that he also found out that he has some “strong Irish blood” on his father’s side. Dwayne has also been said to have First Nations (Native Canadian) ancestry, although it is not clear if that is accurate.
Dwayne’s mother is Samoan, and descends from Samoan royalty. She is the adoptive stepdaughter of Samoan professional wrestler Peter Maivia, and the daughter of wrestling promoter Lia Maivia. His mother is also of 1/16th Scottish descent. Dwayne spent some time growing up in Grey Lynn, New Zealand, where he was able to learn about his Pacific Islander heritage. He has a tribal “pe’a” chest-and-arm tattoo. He was also partly raised in Charlotte, North Carolina, and Hamden, Connecticut.
Dwayne was selected People Magazine’s “Sexiest Man Alive” in 2016. He is the second non-white man, and the second man of significant African ancestry, to have been given this title by the magazine (Denzel Washington, in 1996, is the first, and Idris Elba, in 2018, John Legend, in 2019, and Michael B. Jordan, in 2020, are the others, fitting both criteria). Dwayne is also the first Polynesian man to have been given the title.
Dwayne is married to singer and songwriter Lauren Hashian. He has a daughter with his former wife, businessperson, IFBB professional bodybuilder, and producer Dany Garcia, who works on many of his films; and two children with Lauren.
Dwyane’s paternal grandfather was James Henry A. Bowles (the son of John W. Bowles and Lila/Lilla/Lillian Jones). James was born in Amherst, Cumberland County, Nova Scotia, Canada. John was the son of Stephen Bowles and Charlotte/Charlotta/Lottie Jones. Lila was the daughter of Henry Jones and Mary Jane.
Dwyane’s paternal grandmother was Lillian Gay (the daughter of Alfred Nathan Gay and Isabelle/Isabel/Isabell/Isabella Sickles). Lillian was born in Amherst, Cumberland County, Nova Scotia, Canada. Alfred was the son of Delia/Adelia. Isabelle was born on Prince Edward Island, the daughter of William Benjamin Sickles and Hannah Colecraft/Colecroft. Through this line, Dwayne is descended from Dembo Sickles, who was born, c. 1762, in Benin, and was sold as a slave to a man in Prince Edward Island.
Dwayne’s biological maternal grandfather was John Sione Papali’itele Fitisemanu (the son of Malietoa Talavou Pe’a Fitisemanu and Alisa Jane Tuiloma Crichton). John was born on Vaisala, Samoa. Talavou was the son of Malietoa Fa’alata Talavou Fitisemanu and Salumalo Leilua. Fa’alata’s father was Malietoa Talavou Tonumaipe’a, King of Samoa. Alisa was the daughter of John Tuiloma Crichton, whose father was from Glasgow, Scotland, and of Talau’ula Malolo.
Dwayne’s maternal grandmother was Lia Maivia (born Ofelia Fuataga, the daughter of Sanitoa Aulaumea and Talaleu Soesa Fuataga). Lia Maivia was born in Lalomanu, Aleipata, Western Samoa, then under New Zealand rule, now independent. Sanitoa was the son of Aulaumea T. and Tulafono.
Dwyane’s adoptive maternal grandfather was born Fanene Pita Anderson (the son of Rebecca Fanene). Fanene was born on American Samoa; he wrestled under the name Peter Maivia, and was also known as Peter Anderson. In Dwayne’s own early wrestling days, he was known as Rocky Maivia, a combination of the nicknames of his father, Rocky Johnson, and Peter Maivia. Peter himself was adopted by Ifopo F. Amituana’i, the father of The Rev. Amituana’i Anoa’i. Ifopo was the great-grandfather of professional wrestler and actor Roman Reigns and professional wrestler Rikishi, and the great-great-grandfather of professional wrestlers Jimmy Uso and Jey Uso. The family was from Utulei on American Samoa. Dwayne is also a fourth cousin, once removed, of actress Eliana Sua. Dwayne’s maternal great-great-great-grandparents, William Crichton and Uputaua Falemalu Lesa, were also Eliana’s paternal great-great-great-great-grandparents.
Family history of Dwayne’s father – http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com
Dwayne’s paternal great-grandparents, Alfred Nathan Gay and Isabelle/Isabel/Isabell/Isabella Sickles, on the 1901 Canada Census – https://www.familysearch.org
Alfred Nathan Gay and Isabelle/Isabel/Isabell/Isabella Sickles on the 1911 Canada Census – https://www.familysearch.org