John Dukakis

Birth Name: John A. Chaffetz

Place of Birth: Santa Clara, California, United States

Date of Birth: June 9, 1958

*87.5% Ashkenazi Jewish
*12.5% Irish

John Dukakis is an American actor, entertainer, music executive, and political aide.

He is the son of Kitty Dukakis (born Katharine Dickson), an author, and John Allen Chaffetz, a businessperson.

When he was five, his mother married politician Michael Dukakis, who adopted John and gave him his surname. Michael was Governor of Massachusetts, and the Democratic Party’s 1988 presidential nominee. John’s biological paternal half-brother is Jason Chaffetz, a Republican politician, who was a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Utah, from 2009 to 2017. John is married to Lisa, and has four children.

His birth parents are both Jewish. His mother is also of one quarter Irish descent, through her own biological maternal grandfather.

John’s paternal grandfather was Maxwell “Max” Chaffetz (the son of Joseph Carroll Chaffetz/Chafitz and Celia Kessel). Maxwell was born in Massachusetts, and was an FBI agent. Caroll was a Polish Jew/Russian Jew, and was the son of Moses Chaffetz/Chafitz and Sarah Eisenstein. Celia was a Lithuanian Jew, and was the daughter of Moses Kessel and Mary Jaspon.

John’s paternal grandmother was Rhoda B. Friedman (the daughter of Lewis S. Friedman and Sarah/Sara A. Jacobs). Rhoda was born in Washington, D.C. Lewis was born in Pennsylvania, to Hungarian Jewish parents. Sarah was a Russian Jew.

John’s maternal grandfather was Harry Ellis Dickson (the son of Elie/Ellis William Duchin/Dickson and Ethel Milliken/Millikin/Marcus). Harry was born in Massachusetts, to Polish Jewish and/or Russian Jewish parents. He was a member of the first violin section of the Boston Symphony Orchestra for 49 years, and also served as Associate Conductor of the Boston Pops Orchestra. John’s great-grandfather Elie was the son of William Dickson/Duchin and Ida Rubin.

John’s maternal grandmother was named Jane Goldberg. Jane was born in New York. She was adopted by Henry Joseph Goldberg and Mabel Weil, who married in 1906. Jane’s biological parents were said to be an Irish Catholic father and a Hungarian Jewish mother, who were teenagers at the time. Her adoptive family was of German Jewish descent and upper-class. Henry Goldberg was born in Nashville, Tennessee, and was the son of Charles C. Goldberg and Nettie C. Bach. Mabel Weil was born in New York, the daughter of Maximilian/Max Weil, from Hassberge, Bavaria, and of Gertrude Williams.

Sources: Genealogy of John Dukakis –

John’s paternal grandfather, Maxwell “Max” Chaffetz, on the 1930 U.S. Census –

John’s paternal grandmother, Rhoda B. Friedman, on the 1920 U.S. Census –

Marriage record of John’s maternal grandparents, Harry Ellis Dickson and Jane Goldberg –

John’s maternal grandfather, Harry Ellis Dickson, on the 1930 U.S. Census –

Marriage records of John’s legal maternal great-grandparents, Henry Joseph Goldberg and Mabel Weil –

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