While Motown Records may have had more stars than in the heavens in the day, the man who made “Hitsville USA” happen was founder, president and impresario, Berry Gordy Jr. But, he isn’t the only person in his bloodline who has achieved great success. With all the TV shows on about exploring one’s genealogy, this one is one our editors had to take a double take at.
The man who changed the face of popular music in the 1960’s and 1970’s shares his heritage with a US President, this according to http://www.soulwalking.co.uk However, it just might not be the name that first comes to mind.
Let’s work backwards though the family tree. Berry Gordy Jr is Actually Gordy III. His parents were Berry Gordy II and Bertha Fuller Gordy. They moved in 1922 to Detroit from Milledgeville, Georgia. His family moved to Detroit as a part of the vast migration of Southern Blacks laborers who came to work for the burgeoning auto industry. Records show that Berry’s father was the son of Berry Gordy I and a woman records show was named Joann. Gordy I’s grandfather was the son of James Thomas Gordy, a Georgia white farmer; his grandmother was a documented female slave working in Georgia.
That same family tree also shows that James Thomas Gordy was also the great-grandfather of James Earl Carter, Jr. You may not recognize the legal formal name right away of this man, but he was the 39th President of the United States from 1976 to 1980.
Said simply, Berry Gordy III and Jimmy Carter are second half-cousins.