Maria Cole

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Maria Cole
Nat and Maria Cole 1951.jpg
Cole with her husband Nat, 1951.
Background information
Birth name Maria Hawkins
Born (1922-08-01)August 1, 1922
Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
Died July 10, 2012(2012-07-10) (aged 89)
Boca Raton, Florida, U.S.
Genres Jazz
Instruments Vocals
Years active 1936–55
Labels Capitol
Associated acts

Maria Cole[1] (née Hawkins; August 1, 1922 – July 10, 2012) was an American jazz singer and the wife of singer Nat King Cole; mother of the singer Natalie Cole.[2][3]

Early life[edit]

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]

Career[edit]

She was a jazz singer who worked most notably with Count Basie and Duke Ellington. She met Nat "King" Cole while they were both singing at the Zanzibar club.[2][3]

Personal life[edit]

Cole had four children in addition to Natalie (1950–2015): Carole (1944–2009) adopted by her and Nat when she was 3, when her birth mother (Maria's sister Carol Hawkins Lane) died; son Nat Kelly Cole (1959–1995), adopted as a baby from the Children’s Home Society in Los Angeles, who came out as gay at age 19 and who died of AIDS, and twin daughters Timolin and Casey (b. 1961) She was known as Maria Ellington during her first marriage to Spurgeon Ellington, a Tuskegee Airman). Her third marriage was to Gary DeVore. They ran an Inn in the Berkshires together for several years. That marriage ended in divorce.[citation needed]

Death[edit]

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]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Nat "King" Cole's Widow Maria Cole Visits Charlotte Hawkins Brown Museum". Archived from the original on July 10, 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c Associated Press (July 11, 2012). "Widow of Nat 'King' Cole dies of cancer at 89". Yahoo! News. Retrieved July 12, 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. 227–35. 
  4. ^ "Nat "King" Cole's Widow Maria Cole Visits Charlotte Hawkins Brown Museum". North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources. June 11, 2008. Archived from the original on July 10, 2012. Retrieved July 12, 2012. 
  5. ^ Henry Louis Gates, Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham (2004). African American Lives. Oxford University Press. p. 106. ISBN 9780195160246. 
  6. ^ Notable Black American Women. Books.google.ca. Retrieved 2012-07-13. 
  7. ^ "Nat "King" Cole's Widow Maria Cole Visits Charlotte Hawkins Brown Museum". News.ncdcr.gov. February 25, 1965. Archived from the original on July 10, 2012. Retrieved July 13, 2012. 
  8. ^ Bright Boulevards, Bold Dreams: The Story of Black Hollywood. Books.google.ca. Retrieved 2012-07-13. 

External links[edit]