Maria Cole

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Maria Cole
Nat and Maria Cole 1951.jpg
Nat and Maria Cole, 1951
Background information
Birth name Maria Hawkins
Born (1922-08-01)August 1, 1922
Boston, Massachusetts
Died July 10, 2012(2012-07-10) (aged 89)
Boca Raton, Florida
Associated acts Natalie Cole

Maria Hawkins Cole (formerly Ellington during her first marriage to Spurgeon Ellington, a Tuskegee Airman)[1] (August 1, 1922 – July 10, 2012) was the widow of singer Nat King Cole and mother of singer Natalie Cole.[2][3] She was also a jazz singer who worked most notably with Count Basie and Duke Ellington.[2] She met Nat King Cole while they were both singing at the Zanzibar club.[2][3]

Cole was born in Boston and was the niece of Charlotte Hawkins Brown.[4][5] Her father, Mingo Hawkins, was a letter carrier. Her mother, Carol, died while giving birth to her sister.[6][7][8] Cole died in a nursing home in Boca Raton, Florida on July 10, 2012, at the age of 89, shortly after being diagnosed with cancer.[2]


  1. ^ "Nat “King” Cole’s Widow Maria Cole Visits Charlotte Hawkins Brown Museum". 
  2. ^ a b c d Associated Press (11 July 2012). "Widow of Nat 'King' Cole dies of cancer at 89". Yahoo! News. Retrieved 12 July 2012. 
  3. ^ a b Gene Lees, Nat Hentoff (2004). You Can't Steal a Gift: Dizzy, Clark, Milt, and Nat. U of Nebraska Press. pp. 227–235. 
  4. ^ "Nat "King" Cole’s Widow Maria Cole Visits Charlotte Hawkins Brown Museum". North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources. June 11, 2008. Retrieved 12 July 2012. 
  5. ^ Henry Louis Gates, Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham (2004). African American Lives. Oxford University Press. p. 106. ISBN 9780195160246. 
  6. ^ Notable Black American Women - Google Books. Retrieved 2012-07-13. 
  7. ^ "NC Cultural Resources Newsroom » Nat “King” Cole’s Widow Maria Cole Visits Charlotte Hawkins Brown Museum". 1965-02-25. Retrieved 2012-07-13. 
  8. ^ Bright Boulevards, Bold Dreams: The Story of Black Hollywood - Donald Bogle - Google Books. Retrieved 2012-07-13. 

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