Nat King Cole

Nat King Cole on Capitol Records jazz mural, designed and painted by Richard Wyatt, photo by meunierd/

Birth Name: Nathaniel Adams Coles

Date of Birth: March 17, 1919

Place of Birth: Montgomery, Alabama, U.S.

Date of Death: February 15, 1965

Place of Death: Santa Monica, California, U.S.

Ethnicity: African-American

Nat King Cole was an American singer, jazz pianist, and actor. His two most famous song peformances are likely “Unforgettable” and “The Christmas Song.”

He was the son of Perlina (Adams), a church organist, and The Rev. Edward James Coles, a Baptist pastor. Among his siblings were jazz musician Eddie Cole and jazz singer and pianist Freddy Cole. Nat was married to jazz singer Maria Cole, until his death. The couple had five children, including musician Natalie Cole. He was raised mostly in Bronzeville, Chicago, Illinois.

Nat’s paternal grandfather was named Edward Coles. Edward was born in North Carolina.

Nat’s paternal grandmother was named Catharine. Catharine was born in Virginia.

Nat’s maternal grandfather was named Robin Adams.

Nat’s maternal grandmother was named Mattie Adams (the daughter of Robin Adams and Mina). Mattie was born in Alabama.

Sources: Genealogies of Nat King Cole –


Curious about ethnicity

9 Responses

  1. cdonorab says:

    Correction. Found info on his father. Edward James Coles was the son of John Cole and Denise Augustine Cole. Thorough James Nat has English and Irish ancestry and through the Denise he has French Canadian ancestry. Through Denise he also has distant spanish and Portuguese ancestry as well.

    Here’s a tree that details the Coles ancestry:

    Here’s some info on Denise Cole’s family:

  2. fuzzybear44 says:

    R.I.P to his daughter Natalie

  3. fuzzybear44 says:

    R.I.P to his wife Maria Cole who pass in July 2012

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