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 Jackie “Moms” Mabley

Photo added by Curtis Jackson

Jackie “Moms” Mabley

Vaudeville performer and comedian. The first African American woman to establish herself as a single act in standup comedy. A pioneer of social satire, she has strongly influenced such contemporary African-American comedians such as Richard Pryor, Bill Cosby, and Whoppi Goldberg. Her comic character was that of cantankerous old woman (created when Mabley herself was still young) who wore a funny hat, had a big toothless grin, and uttered gags laced with folk wisdom. She was born Loretta Mary Aiken into a large family in Brevard, North Carolina in 1897. At a young age her farther forced her to marry a much older man who she hated, she later used this experience to create her signature joke cycle of putting down older men. She changed her name after her brother was embarrassed to have a sister in show business. The name Jackie Mabley came from her first boyfriend whom she said took so much from her that the least she could do was take his name. Jackie "Moms" Mabley rose to national recognition as a standup comedian in the early 1960s. Moms adept at adapting the hardships of her life into comic routines. She performed across the nation, including appearances at Carnegie Hall, the Apollo Theatre, and the Cotton Club. During her career Moms recorded more than twenty albums of her comedy routines and appeared on various televisions shows. A year after staring in the feature film Amazing Grace (1974), Jackie " Moms" Mabley died in White Plains, New York on May 23, 1975.

Bio by: Curtis Jackson


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 1 Jan 2001
  • Find A Grave Memorial 655
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Jackie “Moms” Mabley (19 Mar 1899–23 May 1975), Find A Grave Memorial no. 655, citing Ferncliff Cemetery and Mausoleum, Hartsdale, Westchester County, New York, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .