Little Richard

Anna Bleker

Little Richard in 2007, photo by Anna Bleker

Birth Name: Richard Wayne Penniman

Date of Birth: December 5, 1932

Place of Birth: Macon, Georgia, U.S.

Date of Death: May 9, 2020

Place of Death: Tullahoma, Tennessee, U.S.

Ethnicity: African-American

Little Richard was an American recording artist, singer, songwriter, musician, and actor. He was nicknamed “The Innovator,” “The Originator,” and “The Architect of Rock and Roll.”

Little Richard was the son of Leva Mae (Stewart) and Charles “Bud” Penniman, a church deacon. He had a son, who was adopted, with his former wife Ernestine Harvin.

Little Richard’s paternal grandfather was John Walter Penniman (the son of Morris Penniman and Adalin or Patsy Billingsley/Barron). Walter was born in Georgia. Morris was the son of The Rev. Elijah Penniman and Nancy Linch. Patsy’s mother was named Julia.

Little Richard’s paternal grandmother was named Ella Middlebrooks (the daughter of Jordan/Jordon Middlebrooks and Emily). Ella was born in Georgia.

Little Richard’s maternal grandfather was named Richard Candus Stewart. Little Richard’s grandfather Richard was born in Georgia.

Little Richard’s maternal grandmother was Irene Veal (the daughter of Horace Veal and Pleasant Shinholster). Irene was born in Georgia. Horace was the son of Paris Veal and Lizzie Ford.

Sources: Genealogies of Little Richard –


Curious about ethnicity

6 Responses

  1. multiethnic says:

    Little Richard is part Native American. I know someone from the community/area he originated from and that region has a lot of blacks of Native American ancestry stemming from Cherokee who owned black slaves. Thus, many don’t even claim the ancestry, but it’s evident in the physical traits of many.

  2. Anon says:

    He also has Native American and has been vocal about it.

  3. Fuzzybear says:

    Shut upppppppp!

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