Sam Cooke

photo of Sam Cooke published c. 1966, Billboard page 21, RCA Victor Records

Birth Name: Samuel Cooke

Date of Birth: January 22, 1931

Place of Birth: Clarksdale, Mississippi, U.S.

Date of Death: December 11, 1964

Place of Death: Los Angeles, California, U.S.

Ethnicity: African-American

Sam Cooke was an American singer, songwriter, and entrepreneur. He was also known as Dale Cook, and nicknamed “King of Soul.”

Sam was the son of Annie Mae (Carroll) and The Rev. Charles Cook, a minister in the Church of Christ (Holiness). His brother, L.C., was a member of the doo-wop band Johnny Keyes and the Magnificents. His family moved to Chicago, Illinois in 1933. Sam added an “e” to his surname in 1957.

Sam was married to Barbara Campbell, until his death. He had six children, three of them with Barbara, including singer and songwriter Linda Womack. Linda’s stepfather was singer and songwriter Bobby Womack, and Linda married Bobby’s brother, musician Cecil Womack. Linda and Cecil were singer and songwriter partners known as Womack & Womack.

Sam’s maternal grandfather was named Edward U. Carroll. Edward was born in North Carolina.

Sam’s maternal grandmother was named May Lewis (the daughter of Eugenia Payne). May was born in Mississippi.

Source: Genealogy of Charles Cooke (focusing on his mother’s side) –


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