Harry Belafonte Bio, Songs, Education, Career, Family, Net Worth, Philanthropy, Death

Harry Belafonte

Harry Belafonte is a Jamaican-American singer, actor, and civil rights activist. He was born on March 1, 1927, in Harlem, New York City. Belafonte’s parents were Jamaican immigrants who had come to the United States to look for work.

Belafonte grew up in poverty and faced racial discrimination, but he found solace in music and performed in school plays and talent shows.

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Harry Belafonte Education Background

Belafonte did not have a formal education beyond high school, he was self-educated and developed a passion for literature, history, and politics.

His education was disrupted by his family’s financial struggles and he dropped out of high school at the age of 17.

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Harry Belafonte Career

After dropping out of school, Harry joined the U.S. Navy and served during World War II. He was discharged in 1946 and then he returned to New York City and worked odd jobs while pursuing a career in theater. He joined then the American Negro Theater.


Belafonte’s music career began in the early 1950s. His breakthrough came in 1956 with the release of his album “Calypso,” which included the hit song “Banana Boat (Day-O).” The album became a huge success, selling over a million copies and making Belafonte the first artist to sell that many copies of an album.

He continued to release successful albums and songs throughout the 1950s and 1960s, including “Jamaica Farewell,” “Mama Look a Boo Boo,” and “Jump in the Line.

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Belafonte has also had a successful acting career and has appeared in several films and television shows. He made his film debut in the 1953 film “Bright Road.” He went on to appear in several other films, including “Carmen Jones” (1954), “Island in the Sun” (1957), and “Buck and the Preacher” (1972).

Belafonte has also appeared in several television shows, including “The Twilight Zone,” “The Muppet Show,” and “White Collar.

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Harry Belafonte Family

His mother was Jamaican, and his father was from Martinique. Belafonte’s parents divorced when he was young, and he was sent to live with his grandmother in Jamaica for a few years. He returned to New York City to live with his mother when he was 13 years old.

Harry Belafonte wife

Belafonte has been married three times. His first marriage was to Marguerite Byrd in 1948, and they had two children together before divorcing in 1957. Belafonte then married Julie Robinson in 1957, and they had two children together before divorcing in 2008. Belafonte’s third marriage was to Pamela Frank in 2008.

Belafonte has four children: Adrienne, Shari, David, and Gina. His daughter Shari Belafonte is also an actress and singer, and his son David Belafonte is an actor and producer.

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Harry Belafonte Net Worth

Harry Belafonte’s net worth is estimated to be around $28 million. Belafonte has earned his wealth through his successful career as a musician, actor, and activist. He has sold millions of albums and has appeared in several films and television shows throughout his career.

Harry Belafonte Philanthropic Work

Belafonte has been involved in philanthropic work throughout his career and has been a passionate advocate for human rights, social justice, and equality.

Civil Rights Movement

Belafonte was heavily involved in the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s and worked closely with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to promote racial equality and justice.

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Anti-Apartheid Movement

Belafonte was also an outspoken opponent of apartheid in South Africa and helped to raise awareness about the issue through his music and activism.

We Are the World Foundation

He is the founder of the We Are the World Foundation, which was established to fight hunger and poverty around the world. The foundation has raised millions of dollars for charitable causes and has helped to support organizations working to address issues such as homelessness, hunger, and disaster relief.


Belafonte has been a Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF since 1987 and has worked to support the organization’s efforts to improve the lives of children around the world.

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Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change

He is a member of the board of directors for the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change, which was established to promote the legacy of Dr. King and to work for social justice and equality. Harry Belafonte has had a long and successful career in music, acting, and activism. He has used his platform to speak out on important social and political issues and has been a powerful voice for change.

Harry Belafonte Death

Harry Belafonte died on April 25, 2023, due to congestive heart failure as claimed by the family spokesperson. He died at the of 96 years.

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