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Samuel Cooke

Birthplace: Clarksdale, Coahoma County, MS, United States
Death: December 11, 1964 (33)
Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, CA, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Charles Cooke and Annie Mae Cooke
Husband of Private and Dolores Cook
Father of Private; Vincent Lance Cooke and Private
Brother of Charles Cooke, Jr.

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Immediate Family

About Samuel Cooke

Sam Cooke (January 22, 1931 – December 11, 1964), born Samuel Cook, was an American recording artist and singer-songwriter, generally considered among the greatest of all time. He is commonly known as the King of Soul for his distinctive vocal abilities and influence on the modern world of music. His pioneering contributions to soul music led to the rise of Aretha Franklin, Bobby Womack, Al Green, Curtis Mayfield, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Billy Preston and popularized the likes of Otis Redding and James Brown.

Cooke had 30 U.S. top 40 hits between 1957 and 1964, and three more after his death. Major hits like "You Send Me", "A Change Is Gonna Come", "Cupid", "Chain Gang", "Wonderful World" and "Twistin' the Night Away" are some of his most popular songs. Cooke was also among the first modern black performers and composers to attend to the business side of his musical career. He founded both a record label and a publishing company as an extension of his careers as a singer and composer. He also took an active part in the Civil Rights Movement.

On December 11, 1964, Cooke was fatally shot by Bertha Franklin, the manager of the Hacienda Motel in Los Angeles, California, at the age of 33. At the time, the courts ruled Cooke was drunk and distressed, and the manager had killed Cooke in what was later ruled a justifiable homicide. Since that time, the circumstances of his death have been widely questioned.

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Samuel Cooke's Timeline

January 22, 1931
Clarksdale, Coahoma County, MS, United States
December 19, 1961
Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, United States
December 11, 1964
Age 33
Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, CA, United States