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Nat King Cole's family

keberoxu 02 Jan 16 - 05:30 PM
GUEST,Lou Judson 02 Jan 16 - 07:22 PM
Jeri 02 Jan 16 - 08:16 PM
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Subject: Nat King Cole's family
From: keberoxu
Date: 02 Jan 16 - 05:30 PM

Natalie Cole's death brings the inevitable reviewing by the media of her life and the family in which she was raised. I was startled by what I just read in interviews.

It is only a few years since the death of Maria Hawkins Ellington Cole, Natalie Cole's mother and Nat King Cole's widow. It is curious to see what truths have emerged since she passed.

In 2014, a non-fiction book was written called Postcards from Cookie. If I recall right, the author is Carolyn Clarke, who was adopted and raised in a loving, stable family, and went on to thrive in her career and her personal life. The reason she looked up her biological info, was for questions of medical history; by this time she had children of her own, and heredity was a factor to consider.

If you don't want the book spoiled, stop reading here.

Ms. Clarke met "Timmie" Cole, one of the twin daughters born to Nat and Maria Cole, and younger than Natalie, at university/college, and they became fast friends. Through "Timmie", Clarke was introduced to Maria Cole and the others. She never dreamed her heredity was relevant to them.

Cutting to the secret: Maria had a sister, Carol Hawkins, who had an unplanned pregnancy. By this time Maria was Nat King Cole's wife, who intervened here; he insisted that Maria's sister Carol have the baby, and that Maria adopt the child. So the baby girl, nicknamed "Cookie," was raised as the oldest of the children with Maria as the adoptive mother, and it was kept a strict secret that Maria was actually Cookie's aunt. "Cookie," who was named Carole (for her birthmother??), grew up with Natalie, Timmie, and the others.

Nat King Cole was dying of cancer when Maria found out that "Cookie" was having an unplanned pregnancy of her own. Maria Cole did all in her power to cover up this event. She sent "Cookie" to the East Coast for the duration of the pregnancy and the birth. When the baby was born, "Cookie" got to a payphone at the hospital from which she begged her adoptive mother to let her keep the baby. Maria Cole informed her that her adoptive father did not have long to live, and that "Cookie" could see him if she signed over the child and let her be adopted. Nat King Cole died, and the child was adopted. Yes, she grew up to be Carolyn Clarke.

By book's end, "Cookie" enjoys several years of renewed contact with her adult daughter Carolyn before dying. I have not read the book itself, only interviews released when the book went to press.

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Subject: RE: Nat King Cole's family
From: GUEST,Lou Judson
Date: 02 Jan 16 - 07:22 PM

It would be nice to have links to what you paraphrase here.


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Subject: RE: Nat King Cole's family
From: Jeri
Date: 02 Jan 16 - 08:16 PM

"Post Cards from Cookie"

For future reference, there's a site you can use to search for information at They have loads of stuff indexed, and all you have to do is type in titles of books (for example) or significant words. It comes in very handy.

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