Nina Simone

Simone in 1965, photo by By Kroon, Ron / Anefo, Dutch National Archives, The Hague, [CC BY-SA 3.0 nl], via Wikimedia Commons

Birth Name: Eunice Kathleen Waymon

Date of Birth: February 21, 1933

Place of Birth: Tryon, Polk, North Carolina, U.S.

Date of Death: April 21, 2003

Place of Death: Carry-le-Rouet, Bouches-du-Rhône, France

Ethnicity: African-American

Nina Simone was an American singer, songwriter, pianist, and arranger. She was known as The High Priestess of Soul. Nina was an activist in the Civil Rights Movement.

Nina was the daughter of Mary Kate (Irvin), a Methodist minister, and John/Johnie Devan Waymon, a handyman and dry cleaning business owner. Her parents were both African-American. She had a daughter, singer and actress Simone (Lisa Simone Waymon Stroud), with her former husband, police detective Andrew Stroud.

Nina was sometimes stated to have had Irish and/or Native American ancestry. It is not clear if these claims have been verified/documented.

Nina’s paternal grandfather was Robert Wayne/Wayde Waymon (the son of Joseph Waymon and Julia Ligon). Robert was born in North Carolina.

Nina’s paternal grandmother was named Lucinda Green. Lucinda was born in South Carolina.

Nina’s maternal grandfather was William Irvin (the son of William Irvin and Sarah Lovett).

Nina’s maternal grandmother was named Mary Williams.

Source: Genealogy of Nina Simone –


Curious about ethnicity

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