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Who’s your daddy? (7 famous people who were adopted)

April 28, 2010

Sandra Bullock has been having a rollercoaster year.  First the Oscar win, followed shortly by the cheating husband and impending divorce.  What also was recently announced is that she adopted a child back in January, becoming the most recent in a long line of celebrities adopting children.  It seems to be the new thing in Hollywood.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for it.  I think it’s great that these kids are getting the chance to live their lives without sitting in an orphanage or foster home for years.  So let’s see…  Sandra Bullock-1, Angelina Jolie – 3, Madonna – 2(I think).  So Brangelina wins for now.  At this rate, they’re in danger of letting someone adopt a child who doesn’t really have the capacity to do so.  Hopefully their screening process is extensive.

Does not have the capacity

But celebrities don’t just adopt children.  Many famous faces in entertainment,  literature, business, and athletics were adopted themselves.   Here are a few of the more notable cases.


Edgar Allan Poe

Born Edgar Poe in Boston, Massachusetts in 1809, his father abandoned the family within a year.  His mother died shortly thereafter of consumption.  Poe was sent to live with merchant John Allan.  The Allans moved back to England a few years later where Edgar attended grammar and boarding school in Scotland.  The family returned to America in 1820, where Edgar joined the military and later went on to become one of the most influential writers in history.


Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs was born in 1955 to Joanne Simpson and Abdulfattah Jandali.  Joanne was a speech therapist and Jandali was a graduate student who would go on to become a political science professor.  Nonetheless, they put Steve up for adoption a week after his birth and he was taken in by Paul and Clara Jobs.  As a child, Steve’s adoptive father would show him how to take apart and reconstruct small electronics.  He eventually went on to be an intern at Hewlett-Packard where he met Steve Wozniak.  The two got together and started a little computer company called Apple.  He’s made a little bit of money since then.


Faith Hill

Faith was born as Audrey Faith Perry in Mississippi.  When she was a few days old her mother had to put her up and she was adopted by Ted and Edna Perry.  Raised in a strict environment, she sang at a 4-H luncheon when she was 7, and the rest is history.  The multi-award winning singer later married Tim McGraw, himself adopted by the man his mother married. (There were many celebrities adopted by the spouse of a parent.  I only included full adoptions on this list.)


Dave Thomas

Wendy’s founder R. David Thomas was adopted in 1932 by Rex and Auvela Thomas of Kalamazoo, Michigan.  Sadly, his adoptive mother died of rheumatic fever when he was only 5.  The rest of his childhood was spent traveling with his adoptive father while he looked for work and spending summers with his grandmother.  He left high school early and took a job as a busboy in Fort Wayne, Indiana.  Several years later, while working for Kentucky Fried Chicken, Harland Sanders asked Thomas to turn around four failing franchises in return for a 45% stake in those stores.  He succeeded, later sold back his interest, and started Wendy’s.  He also founded the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, one of the most successful advocates and facilitators of adoptions.


Sarah McLachlan

Sarah was born in 1968 in Nova Scotia, Canada.  She was immediately adopted by Americans Jack and Dorice McLachlan, who lived in the same area.  They encouraged her studies in music, and she ended up at the Nova Scotia Royal Conservatory with studies in classical guitar, piano, and voice.  She released her first album in 1989 and currently provides her music to way too many psuedo-emotional SPCA commercials.  (Relax.  I believe in the cause, I just don’t think I need to see the commercials every five seconds.)


Greg Louganis

While most of these adoption stories put the child in a better home than they would have been, that is not always the case.  Gregory Efthimios Louganis was born in San Diego, CA in 1960.  His parents were young and put him up for adoption when he was 9 months old, and he was taken in by Peter and Frances Louganis.  Unfortunately, Peter was a heavy drinker and constantly abused Greg both mentally and emotionally.  Frances continually tried to be a peacemaker between them, but was never successful.  The abuse caused Greg to stray off path and start dealing marijuana, using speed, and even attempting suicide.  He eventually put everything he had into the only thing that gave him confidence: diving.  He went on to be the most decorated American Olympic diver.



Darryl McDaniels was adopted at one month old by Byford and Banna McDaniels in 1964.  He grew up in Harlem and, as a teenager, got together with a couple friends to form influential hip-hop group Run-DMC.  They went on to a long career, starting off with early hits such as “My Adidas”, “You be Illin””, and “It’s Tricky”.  As he started to put together an autobiography, he asked his mother about his early life and she told him he was adopted for the first time.  He was 35 years old.

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  1. Chirpir News | Who's your daddy? (7 famous people who were adopted) « A Whole Lot …

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