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] She had 4 children in addition to Natalie: Carol, adopted by her and Nat when she was 3, when her birth mother (Maria's sister Caro Hawkins Lane) died; son Kelly, who died of AIDS in 1995, and twin daughters Timolin and Casey. Her third marriage was to a man several years her junior, Gary DeVore. They ran an Inn in the Berkshires together for several years. The marriage ended in divorce.

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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