Joel Smollett’s Bio: The Legacy of Joel Smollett

joel smollett

Joel Smollett, the revered patriarch of the illustrious Smollett family, was born in Russia on October 8, 1956. His early years were spent in Poland before his family embarked on a transformative journey to the United States of America during his teenage years. In the U.S., he acquired American citizenship, becoming a proud member of the diverse cultural tapestry. His heritage blended Jewish, Russian, and Polish roots, a testament to his rich identity mosaic.

In faith, Smollett was raised in a household that practiced the Jewish religion. His parents, Peter Smollett and Molly Hirschenson, played significant roles in shaping his values and principles. While his father, Peter, hailed from Polish Jewish descent, his mother, Molly, had roots in Russia. Joel reportedly had one sibling, though details about them remain mysterious.

A Life Remembered: Joel Smollett’s Passing

Joel Smollett departed from this world at 56 on January 7, 2015, in the United States. The cause of his passing was recorded as cancer, although the specific type remained a closely guarded family secret. His devoted children encircled him in his final moments, having spared no effort in ensuring he received the finest medical care.

A Love Story: Joel Smollett and Janet Smollett


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Joel Smollett’s heart found its counterpart in Janet Smollett. This love story unfolded in the backdrop of the San Francisco Bay Area during their shared commitment to championing civil rights. Of African-American heritage, Janet originally hailed from New Orleans and shared Joel’s unwavering passion for civil rights advocacy.

Their union, forged in their twenties (though the exact year eludes public knowledge), thrived until Joel’s untimely passing in 2015. Their journey together was graced with the blessings of six children: four sons and two daughters.

The Gifted Offspring: Joel Smollett’s Six Children

The Smollett family tree boasts six remarkable branches, each with unique talent and achievements. Allow us to introduce them to you:

1. Jojo Smollett: 

Jojo, the eldest of Joel’s children, entered New York City on August 28, 1977. At 46, he is an accomplished actor and producer, celebrated primarily for his work in the 1990s.

2. Jazz Smollett:



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Born on April 1, 1980, Jazz, the second-born and first daughter, now 43, embarked on her career as an actress and producer after graduating from The New York University Tisch School of the Arts. Her notable projects include “On Our Own,” “Living by Design with Jake and Jazz,” and “I Want You.”

3. Jussie Smollett:


Arguably the most renowned of the Smollett siblings, Jussie was born in Santa Rosa, California, on June 21, 1982. As the third child and second son, his acting journey began in 1991, and he has since achieved accolades as an award-winning actor, TV personality, and singer.

4. Jurnee Smollett: 


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Born October 1, 1986, in New York City, Jurnee, now 36, boasts multiple awards for her acting prowess. She, too, embarked on her acting journey as a child in 1991. Jurnee was briefly married to musician Josiah Bell and shared a son named Hunter.

5. Jake Smollett: 


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The fifth child and third son, Jake, arrived on July 29, 1989, and is 34 years old. Alongside his acting career, Jake is a renowned celebrity chef and best-selling cookbook author. His notable works include “Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper,” “The Middleman,” “Eve’s Bayou,” and more.

6. Jocqui Smollett: 


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The youngest in the Smollett family, Jocqui, was born on August 1, 1993. Though an actor, he prefers a quieter existence, distinct from his spotlight-seeking siblings. Jacqui shared the screen with his brother in “On Our Own” and has made appearances in “Amanda’s Return” and “Pitch This.” Beyond acting, he harbors real estate, technology, and public speaking interests.

Joel Smollett: A Champion of Civil Rights

Joel Smollett’s life was marked by his unwavering dedication to the cause of civil rights. He began his professional journey as a cable splicer shortly after immigrating to the United States to provide for his beloved family. Alongside his career, he became a formidable force in the fight for civil rights, leaving an indelible mark on the movement.

Beyond his professional and advocacy roles, Joel Smollett’s true legacy lies in the firm, close-knit family he nurtured. He inspired and encouraged his children to pursue careers in the entertainment industry, a decision that has borne immense fruit. The enduring bond within the Smollett family serves as a living testament to his profound influence.

Today, Joel Smollett’s legacy continues to shine brightly through his children. They proudly acknowledge his pivotal role in shaping their lives and careers at every opportunity. His memory is a beacon of inspiration despite the passage of years since his departure from this world. Joel Smollett is a father, a champion, and a legacy that endures.




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