Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Birth Name: Lawrence Monsanto Ferlinghetti

Date of Birth: March 24, 1919

Place of Birth: Yonkers, New York, U.S.

Date of Death: February 22, 2021

Place of Death: San Francisco, California, U.S.

*father – Italian
*mother – French, some Sephardi Jewish

Lawrence Ferlinghetti was an American poet, painter, and social activist. He co-founded City Lights Booksellers & Publishers.

Lawrence was the son of Clemence Albertine (Mendes-Monsanto) and Carlo/Charles Leopoldo Ferlighetti. His father was an Italian emigrant, from Chiari, Province of Brescia, Lombardy. His mother was born in New York, to a father from the Caribbean, who was of at least part Sephardi Jewish descent, and to a French mother.

Lawrence had two children with his former wife Selden Kirby-Smith.

Lawrence’s paternal grandfather was named Firmo Ferlinghetti. Firmo was born in Gussago, Province of Brescia, Lombardy, Italy.

Lawrence’s paternal grandmother was named Dominica.

Lawrence’s maternal grandfather was Louis Thomas Herman/Hermann Mendes Monsanto (the son of Charles Cadet/Carlos Mendez Monsanto and Louise Josephine Caroline Hurard). Herman was an author, and a professor of languages. He was born at St Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, and had at least part Sephardi Jewish heritage. Carlos was the son of Jacob Mendes/Mendez Monsanto and Marie Therese Vertu, who were from Curaçao. Louise was born on Martinique.

Lawrence’s maternal grandmother was Clemenca/Clemence-Josephine Eugenie Rouvillain/Rousillian (the daughter of Jean Baptiste Florimond Rouvillain and Marie Adelayde Julie Opron). Clemence-Josephine was born in Martinstart, Somme, France.


Genealogy of Lawrence Ferlinghetti –

Lawrence Ferlinghetti on the 1920 U.S. Census –

Lawrence’s parents on the 1910 U.S. Census –

Immigration record of Lawrence’s father –

Marriage record of Lawrence’s maternal grandparents, Louis Thomas Herman/Hermann Mendes Monsanto and Clemenca/Clemence-Josephine Eugenie Rouvillain/Rousillian –

Obituary of Lawrence’s maternal grandfather, Louis Thomas Herman/Hermann Mendes Monsanto –

2 Responses

  1. andrew says:

    his father Carlo Leopoldo Ferlighetti was the son of Firmo Ferlinghetti. Firmo was born in Gussago, Province of Brescia, Lombardy, Italy.

    I also believe his maternal grandmother, Clemenca/Clemence-Josephine Eugenie Rousillian/Rouvillain, was French (from Somme, North France -> but not Jewish.

    maternal grandfather:

    It’s unclear if he was born in Puerto Rico or Virgin Islands. He might have been a convert to Catholicism too.

  2. andrew says:

    tag “Portuguese Jewish”

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