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Sam Cooke Facts

Discovering the Phenomenal Life of Sam Cooke: From His Early Days to His Legacy

Singer’s Bio and Age

Born in Clarksdale, Mississippi on January 22, 1931, Sam Cooke was a renowned gospel and R&B singer, songwriter, and entrepreneur. He grew up leading a choir in a Baptist church, where he honed his vocal skills. Cooke’s mother was a respected member of the church, and his father, a Baptist minister, instilled in him the love for music. Cooke was the fifth of eight siblings, and his childhood was spent in Clarksdale until the family moved to Chicago, Illinois, in 1933, when he was two years old. Cooke attended Wendell Phillips Academy High School in Chicago, and it was during this time that he discovered his singing talents and started performing.

Relationships and Children

In 1953, Cooke married his childhood sweetheart, Dolores Mohawk. The couple had three children, Linda, Tracy, and Vincent. However, despite having a family, Cooke was known for his notorious affairs with several women.


Cooke landed his first professional job as a lead vocalist with The Soul Stirrers, a renowned gospel group, in 1950. He recorded with them until 1956, releasing several hits such as “Jesus Gave Me Water” and “Touch The Hem Of His Garment.” Cooke’s music career took off when he left The Soul Stirrers and transitioned to secular music in 1956.

Cooke recorded his first single, “Lovable,” under the pseudonym “Dale Cook” and released it under Keen Records. In 1957, he signed with RCA Records and continued to release several successful R&B and pop hits, such as “You Send Me,” “Chain Gang,” “Another Saturday Night,” and many more.

In 1960, Cooke founded his own record label, SAR Records, where he produced hits such as “Bring it on Home to Me” and “Cupid.” Moreover, he is regarded as one of the pioneers of soul music and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986.

Top Songs

Cooke’s legacy in music is indelible, giving the world timeless hits that still resonate today. Some of his most popular songs include;

  • You Send Me
  • A Change Is Gonna Come
  • Twistin’ the Night Away
  • Cupid
  • (What A) Wonderful World
  • Chain Gang.

Net Worth

Throughout his career, Cooke’s music and entrepreneurial endeavors earned him considerable wealth. At the time of his death in 1964, he had a net worth of approximately $20 million.


Cooke had an impressive height, standing at 6 feet 1 inch tall. He was known for his fine looks and impeccable sense of style, often flaunting tailored suits and a sly smile.


Unfortunately, Cooke’s life ended tragically on December 11, 1964, under suspicious circumstances. He was shot and killed in a Los Angeles motel by the motel’s manager, Bertha Franklin. Franklin claimed that Cooke had threatened her and that she shot him in self-defense. The circumstances surrounding his death remain contested to this day.


Despite the tragic end to Cooke’s life, his contributions to music and entrepreneurship are held in high esteem even decades later. His soulful and enduring music has continued to inspire generations of musicians and fans alike. As the great singer Ray Charles said, “Sam Cooke was the best singer that ever lived, no contest.”

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