Kathie Lee Gifford

15th Annual National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association New York Benefit - Arrivals

Gifford in 2010, photo by Prphotos.com

Birth Name: Kathryn Lee Epstein

Place of Birth: Paris, France

Date of Birth: August 16, 1953

Ethnicity: Ashkenazi Jewish (paternal grandfather), German, English, French

Kathie Lee Gifford is an American television personality, comedian, actress, singer, and songwriter. She was born in Paris, France, to American parents, Joan (Cuttell) and Aaron Leon Epstein. She has hosted part of the show Today since 2008, along with Hoda Kotb. She previously co-hosted the show Live! with Regis and Kathie Lee from 1985 to 2000.

Kathie Lee was married to professional football player, actor, and sports commentator Frank Gifford, until his death. The couple have two children, including actress Cassidy Gifford.

Kathie Lee’s paternal grandfather was a Russian Jewish immigrant. Her other ancestry is German, English, and French. Kathie is a devout Christian.

Kathie Lee has also stated that her paternal grandmother was “by all accounts… a full-blooded Native American.” It is not clear if this Native American ancestry has been verified/documented.

Kathie Lee’s paternal grandfather was Meyer S. Epstein (the son of Louis Epstein and Feiga/Fanny Wolf). Meyer was born in Russia, likely in Saint Petersburg, to Jewish parents.

Kathie Lee’s paternal grandmother was Evelyn Marie Rogers (the daughter of James Oden Rogers and Catherine Adele Hollidayoke). James was the son of James Wilson Rogers and Mary Elizabeth Phipps. Catherine was the daughter of William Edward Hollidayoke and Sarah Jane Hook/Hoak.

Kathie Lee’s maternal grandfather was Alfred Thomas Cuttell (the son of Thomas James Cuttell and Florence/Florance K./Catharine Williams). Alfred was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, to a prominent publishing family. Thomas was the son of James Cuttell, who was English, and of Anne Maria Courties/Curtis.

Kathie Lee’s maternal grandmother was Florence/Flora M. Edlich (the daughter of Charles H. Edlich and Mary A. Charlesworth). Florence was born in New York. Charles was the son of German parents, George Emil Edlich and Catharina/Caroline Steinkopf/Stein. Mary was born in New York, the daughter of English parents, Edward Charlesworth and Catharine Lee.

Sources: Genealogy of Kathie Lee Gifford – https://www.geni.com

Obituary of Kathie Lee’s maternal grandmother, Florence/Flora M. (Edlich) Cuttell – https://www.newspapers.com

Marriage record of Kathie Lee’s maternal great-grandparents, Charles H. Edlich and Mary A. Charlesworth – https://www.familysearch.org

Death record of Kathie Lee’s maternal great-grandfather, Charles H. Edlich – https://www.familysearch.org

5 Responses

  1. bablah says:

    >Mary A. was the daughter of Joseph Charlesworth, who was born in Godley, Cheshire, England, and of Roxanna Higbee


    Are these a different couple named Charles Edlich and Mary Charlesworth?
    Those aren’t really common last names.

  2. madman says:

    The full quote about her ancestry:
    “I’ll admit, my ancestors didn’t come over on the Mayflower. I’m no pedigree. My dad’s father, Meyer Epstein, came over on a steamer from Saint Petersburg, Russia, right after the turn of the century. That would be the century before this one—around 1900. He was a Russian Jew and he married my dad’s mother, Evelyn, who by all accounts was a full-blooded Native American. So we nicknamed Daddy “Sitting Shiva.” My mother Joanie’s parents had completely different heritages. Her father was from a distinguished publishing family in Toronto, Canada, directly descended from the brilliant writer Rudyard Kipling. Her mother came from Brooklyn, born of German stock. Joanie’s nickname was “Cuddles” Cuttell. Apparently Mom was very popular, but she won’t tell me why. So, Sitting Shiva and Cuddles fell in love as most human beings are wont to do, and they started a little dynasty of their own. Right off the bat they had David Paul, Kathryn Lee, and Michele Suzanne. Three little Epsteins, just like the Three Little Pigs, but more like three little Russian Jewish German French Canadian Indians. In other words, “American.”’


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