Who Was Joel Smollett, Jussie Smollett’s Father?

Joel Smollett was the father of Jussie Smollett, an American singer and actor. Joel, who died at the age of 58 on January 7, 2015, was a former cable splicer and a civil rights champion.

Joel is famous today because most of his children, including his son Jussie, are in the entertainment industry. He fostered a legacy of a close-knit family built on the foundation of love and support for one another.

Summary of Joel Smollett’s Bio

  • Full name: Joel Smollett
  • Gender: Male
  • Date of birth: October 8, 1956
  • Place of birth: Russia
  • Date of Death: January 7, 2015
  • Age at Time of Death: 58 years old
  • Place of Death: United States
  • Ethnicity: Jewish
  • Nationality: Russian/Polish/American
  • Zodiac Sign: Libra
  • Sexual Orientation: Straight
  • Religion: Judaism
  • Marital Status: Married until death
  • Joel Smollett’s Wife: Janet Smollett
  • Joel Smollett’s Children: 6, Jojo Smollett (son), Jazz Smollett (daughter), Jussie Smollett (son), Jurnee Smollett (daughter), Jake Smollett (son), Jocqui Smollett (son)
  • Joel Smollett’s Parents: Peter Smollett (father), Molly Hirschenson (mother)
  • Siblings: 1
  • Joel Smollett’s Height in Inches: 5 feet 7 inches
  • Joel Smollett’s Height in Centimeters: 170 cm
  • Hair color: Black
  • Eye color: Dark Brown
  • Famous for: Being Jussie Smollett’s father
  • Occupation: Cable Splicer and former civil rights champion

Joel Smollett was Jewish

According to several sources, Joel Smollett was born on October 8, 1956, in Russia to a Polish father, Peter Smollett, and Molly Hirschenson, a woman of Russian descent. His birth sign is Libra, and he was raised alongside another sibling whose identity has yet to be revealed to the public. Even though he was born in Russia, Joel Smollett spent most of his formative years in his father’s home country, Poland.

Joel Smollett

The late celebrity dad was in his late teens when his family immigrated to the United States, and he remained in the country until his death. Given that he was born in Russia, Joel Smollett has access to all the rights, privileges, and responsibilities of a Russian citizen. His link to Polish citizenship is through his parents and the fact that he spent most of his early years in Poland.

After living in the United States for several years, Joel Smollett acquired American citizenship. Joel Smollett is Jewish, a fact well known by his son Jussie Smollett, who once revealed that the late patriarch of the Smollett family would kill you if you referred to him as white.

Details of his formal educational background are currently unavailable, but we can confirm that Joel Smollett worked as a cable splicer to augment his birth family’s income, and he continued in that profession after getting married to provide for his family. Away from work, he was also actively involved in civil rights activism, a fight that earned him a lot of respect from his peers and community.

Joel Smollett was Married to an African-American Woman

The simple answer to why Joel Smollett’s children had mixed-race coloring is that he was married to an African-American woman. The woman in question is a New Orleans-born American named Janet Smollett. Beyond the fact that she was married to Joel Smollett, as well as her ties to her famous children, not much is known about Joel Smollett’s widow.

Joel Smollett

While we have verifiable intel that they got married when they were in their 20s, we have yet to ascertain exactly when the wedding took place. We can, however, confirm that the former couple were brought together by their shared love and passion for civil rights advocacy.

Several sources confirm that they met during one of their civil rights campaigns in the Bay Area. They reportedly dated for a few years before sealing their commitment to each other through marriage. They remained together as a married couple until Joel’s demise in 2015.

Joel Smollett Is The Father Of Jussie Smollett

Fans of the hit drama series Empire will be quite familiar with Jussie Smollett. He is one of Joel Smollet’s six children with Janet Smollett, even though he is perhaps known as the actor who portrayed the character of Jamal Lyon in the aforementioned hit series. His role in the drama series gave him the privilege of sharing the screen with star names like Taraji P. Henson and Terrence Howard, as well as other actors like Ta’Rhonda Jones, Trai Byers, and Bryshere Y. Gray.

Jussie Smollett is the third of the late civil rights champion’s six children. He was born on June 21, 1982, in Santa Rosa, California, United States, and is currently 41 years old. As an actor, he has more than 20 acting credits, including the one he got for his role in Empire.

He is also a member of the LGBTQ community after coming out to his parents when he was 19 years old. While Joel was not that present during his children’s formative years because his work often took him away from them for days on end, he supported his children’s life and career choices, something Jussie greatly appreciated.

Jussie Smollett is the Only Famous One Among Joel Smollett’s Six Children

As mentioned briefly earlier, Jussie Smollett is just one of Joel Smollett’s six children, even though he is arguably the most famous of the six. The late cable splicer had two children before the Empire star and another three after he was born.

Joel Smollett’s oldest child is a son named Jojo Smollett. Jojo was born on August 28, 1977, and is currently 46 years old. He is also a producer and actor with at least six acting credits under his belt, even though he has yet to appear on the silver screens since the late 1990s.

On April Fool’s Day, 1980, just under three years after the birth of their first child, Joel and his wife welcomed another child, this time a daughter whom they named Jazz Smollett. Jazz is 43 years old now and has also had stints in the entertainment industry as an actress and producer. Her 7-year marriage to Troy Wardwell, from 2012, produced a daughter named Nylah.

Four years after the birth of Jussie Smollett, his parents welcomed another daughter named Jurnee Smollett. Jurnee was born on October 1, 1986, in New York City, New York, United States, and is currently 36 years old. She is also a producer and actress with more than 40 movies and TV series credits to her name.

Jake Smollett, born on July 29, 1989, is the second youngest child of Joel and Janet Smollett. He is 34 years old and is also an actor with six acting credits.

Joel Smollett’s youngest offspring is a young man named Jocqui Smollett. Jocqui was born on August 1, 1993, and is currently 30 years old. While he has shared the silver screen with some of his siblings, it is not exactly his thing, evidenced by his public speaking, tech, and real estate investment endeavors.

Joel Smollett was 58 Years Old When He Died in 2015

On January 7, 2015, the Smollett family said goodbye to their patriarch Joel Smollett. The late celebrity dad was 58 years old when he died, and while his family struggled to make sense of it at first, they gradually accepted the reality of the situation and even posted warm tributes to him on their various social media pages.

Joel Smollett died of cancer, even though we have yet to ascertain the exact kind of cancer he died of. We can confirm that he battled the ailment for years before eventually succumbing in January 2015. As expressed earlier, it was a sad day for everyone associated with the family.

Romeo Ndlovu
Romeo Ndlovu
Romeo's secret talent is taking the ordinary and making it extraordinary content. At work, he is thinking about how best to provide the most unique, original content that provides utmost satisfaction to the user. Away from work, he is a football addict who loves to catch up on his favorite pastimes


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