- Gentlemen, start your drones: Judge’s ruling opens door for commercial use
- Soldier who hid, bragged about not saluting flag to be punished — in secret
- ‘Maverick’ of the seas: ‘Top Gun’ school for U.S. ship officers to launch
- Putin declares Sochi Paralympics open amid Ukrainian protest
- ‘In Jesus name, we pray’ sparks ire at Ohio council meeting
- Navy’s first laser weapon ready for prime time; drone killer to deploy this summer
- Billionaire backer: Rick Santorum ‘needs to be heard’ in 2016
- Obamacare fallout: 49 percent pessimistic; 45 percent ‘scared’
- DHS accused of holding U.S. citizen at airport, using emails to pry into her sex life
- Seattle socialist: Minimum-wage discussion skewed by ‘right-wing’ GAO analysis
Widow of Nat ‘King’ Cole dies of cancer at 89
BOCA RATON, FLA. (AP) - Maria Hawkins Cole, widow of jazz crooner Nat “King” Cole and mother of singer Natalie Cole, has died in South Florida after a short battle with cancer. She was 89.
A representative of the family confirmed that she died Tuesday at a Boca Raton hospice, surrounded by her family.
Before and after marrying the famed singer and piano player, Maria Cole had her own long singing career, performing with greats such as Count Basie and Duke Ellington.
Born in Boston in 1922, she lived as a child in North Carolina after her mother died, according to a statement from the family. She later moved to New York to pursue a music career
According to her family, Ellington heard recordings of Maria Cole singing and hired her as a vocalist with his orchestra. She stayed with him until 1946 when she began soloing at the city’s Club Zanzibar as an opening act for the Mills Brothers. There she met Nat “King” Cole.
The two were married in 1948 by then-U.S. Rep. Adam Clayton Powell Jr. at Harlem’s Abyssinian Baptist Church.
Maria Cole traveled and performed with her husband throughout the `50s. After her husband died from cancer in 1965, Maria Cole created the Cole Cancer Foundation.
Her children, Natalie, Timolin and Casey Cole, said in a joint statement, “Our mom was in a class all by herself. She epitomized, class, elegance, and truly defined what it is to be a real lady. … She died how she lived _ with great strength, courage and dignity, surrounded by her loving family.”
At the time of her death Maria Cole lived in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. Private services will be held in Glendale, Calif.
TWT Video Picks
Taxpayers must pay the freight for over-budget train projects
- Kim Jong-un calls for execution of 33 Christians
- Rand Paul wins 2014 CPAC straw poll, Ted Cruz finishes a distant second
- Bill Clinton cashes in on struggling nonprofit hospital
- Paul takes veiled shot at Cruz, says GOP must focus on growth
- Bill Clinton poses for photo with Bunny Ranch prostitutes
- Obama engages in Ukraine diplomacy from Fla. resort as Russia digs in
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
- EDITORIAL: As jobs vanish, Obama wants more of same
- CPAC 2014 straw poll results
- CARSON: Why did the founders give us the Second Amendment?
Pope Francis meets his 'mini-me'
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Winter storm hits states — again