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Berry Gordy is probably one of the most influential names in African-American music business. The legacy of the Motown visionary will forever be celebrated.
He wrote songs and ran 3D Record Mart where he sold 3D glasses and records but the business failed and decided to focus on songwriting.
He co-wrote Reet Petite for Jackie Wilson in 1957 and began producing and managing Smokey Robinson and the Miracles. He established Motown Records in 1959.
Best Known For
As a record producer and executive, he is attributed with the successes of acts such as The Temptations, The Supremes, Stevie Wonder, The Jackson 5 and Marvin Gaye.
He is also a film and TV producer. In 2013, he wrote, composed and produced the Broadway piece, Motown: The Musical.
Berry is straight and single but has been married 3 times. His first marriage was to Thelma Coleman between 1953 and 1959, his second was to Raymona Liles from 1960 to 1964 and then to Grace Eaton for 3 years from 1990.
He has also had intimate romantic relationships with Diana Ross, Nancy Leiviska, Jeana Jackson and Margaret Norton.
Berry (III) Jr. and his siblings, Anna Gaye, Robert Gordy and George Gordy are all children of Berry (II) Sr. and Bertha (née Fuller) Gordy.
He fathers 8 children; Hazel, Berry (IV) and Terry with Thelma, Kerry with Raymona, Sherry with Jeana, Kennedy (Rockwell) with Margaret, Rhonda with Diana and Stefan (Redfoo) with Nancy.
He is also the grandfather of Skyler Gordy (Skyblu) who forms the act LMFAO with Redfoo.
Berry’s religious beliefs and practices are not known.
Worth To Know
He sold his Motown label in 1988 for $61 million.
His grandfather was an half-brother of James Carter who was president of ex-POTUS, Jimmy Carter.