Gilbert Gottfried

Gottfried in 2008, Joe Seer /

Place of Birth: Brooklyn, New York City, New York, U.S.

Date of Birth: February 28, 1955

Ethnicity: Ashkenazi Jewish

Gilbert Gottfried is an American stand-up comedian and actor. His stand-up material often includes racial relations and religion.

Gilbert is the son of Lillian and Max Gottfried. His father was a Polish Jewish immigrant. His mother was born in New York, to Russian Jewish parents. His sister was New York Street photographer Arlene Gottfried.

Gilbert is married to Dara Kravitz, with whom he has two children. Dara is also Jewish.

Gilbert’s paternal grandfather was named Abraham Gottfried.

Gilbert’s paternal grandmother was named Esther Frey.

Gilbert’s maternal grandfather was named Charles Zimmerman.

Gilbert’s maternal grandmother was named Minnie. Minnie was born in Odessa.

Sources: Interviews about Gilbert’s Jewish upbringing –

Information about Gilbert’s family history (mentioning Gilbert’s sister, Arlene) –

Genealogy of Gilbert Gottfried (focusing on his mother’s side) –

Gilbert’s mother on the 1920 U.S. Census –
Gilbert’s mother on the 1930 U.S. Census –


Curious about ethnicity

18 Responses

  1. jackson9 says:

    Paternal grandparents = Abraham Gottfried (1872) and Esther (Frey) Gottfried. According to ancestry public records they were Austrian (Jewish).
    Sources: Esther Gottfried in the 1940 United States Federal Census (
    Abraham Gottfried in the 1940 United States Federal Census (

  2. Yeravam says:

    Ashkenazi Jews are a Levantine-Middle Eastern diaspora population. That’s why Gilbert Gottfried, and many other Ashkenazi Jews, look Middle Eastern. Because they ARE Middle Eastern.

  3. andrew says:

    He looks VERY North African. I’ve never seen an Ashkenazi with this look.

  4. blackfricand me says:

    Jewish is a religion not a race

    • anonymous says:

      ummm it’s actually both…lol.

      • iz says:

        Yeah, actually it’s an ethnicity and a religion. It can’t be a race. White, black, and brown skinned people all comprise the Jewish ethnicity.

        • Robert says:

          There are several subgroups of Jews with different culture and traditions:

          Ashkenazic: Descendants of Jews from France, Germany and Eastern Europe

          Sephardic: Descendants of Jews from Spain, Portugal, North Africa and the Middle East

          Mizrachi: Descendants of Jews from North Africa and the Middle East

          Other subgroups are Yemenite, Ethiopian and Oriental

          • zuzanna says:

            damn….. I hate when somebody is writing something like you “EASTERN EUROPE” – this part of Europe isn’t the same so call these countries by name, ok?! Like Poland, Ukraine, Latvia and many many more…

          • Yeravam says:

            Ashkenazi, Sephardi, and Mizrahi Jews make up almost 100% of the world’s Jews, and all three trace the majority of their ancestry to ancient Israel.

            So, yeah. We are, for all intents and purposes, an indigenous Middle Eastern ethnic group.

        • inkognito says:

          Then it don’t give races because people never look like the same! Not even if they’re from same “race”

    • Yeravam says:

      Actually, it is an ethnicity. A Middle Eastern one. It’s also a national religion, but the vast majority of the world’s Jews are ethnic Jews. We are not converts.

      Ashkenazi Jews, like Gilbert, are descendants of Israelite men (and some women) who were exiled into Europe and took Greek and Italian spouses. They’re a Levantine-Middle Eastern diaspora population with 30-40% Greek/Italian admixture.

      Sephardi Jews are about the same. Ditto for Mizrahi Jews, although they have Assyrian (Iraqi Jews), Persian (Persian Jews), and Arab (Yemenites) ancestry on the maternal line. 99% of the world’s Jews are either Ashkenazi, Sephardi, Mizrahi, or some mixture of the three. This means 99% of us are ethnic Levantines (with some foreign admixture acquired in diaspora).

      • Yeravam says:

        Ethiopian and East/South Asian Jews tend to resemble their host populations more closely, but they do have Israelite ancestry (just significantly less of it). Recent converts have zero Israelite ancestry.

        However, these groups are all incredibly tiny and amount to less than 1% of the overall Jewish population. The vast majority of the world’s Jews are ethnically/racially Middle Eastern. Hence why Gilbert Gottfried looks the way he does.

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