60 American Celebrities You Didn’t Know Were Adopted


There are certain known benefits that a child gets when he grows up with his biological parents. These benefits include genuine love, comfort, mentorship and a sense of belonging. However, some kids are not opportune to be around their parents while growing up, they find themselves in the care of other people and such experience may either be nice, not so nice, or not nice at all, depending on the person adopting. Often, such children struggle through their situation and become successful adults. This article highlights famous people, including world leaders, who were adopted at some point of their lives. Though this men and women were brought up by parents other than their own biological parents, they grew up to be wealthy, famous and influential.

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1. Bill Clinton

It may be in former President Bill Clinton's (and his wife's) interest to help keep the Democratic party together for the next convention.


42nd President of the United States, William Jefferson Clinton, was raised by his grandparents after the death of his father. Clinton later adopted the name of his stepfather when he was 15 years old.

2. Lance Armstrong



Lance Edward Armstrong is an American former professional road racing cyclist. He was adopted by his stepfather at age 3.

3. Eric Clapton



Eric Patrick Clapton is an English rock and blues guitarist, singer and songwriter. Eric grew up believing his grandparents were his parents and that his mother who was only sixteen years older than him, was his sister.

4. Andy Dick


American comedian, actor, musician and television/film producer, Andrew Roane popularly known as Andy Dick, was adopted at birth.

5. Ice-T



Popular American rapper, singer, and actor, Tracy Lauren Marrow, better known by his stage name Ice-T, was raised by aunts following the death of his parents when he was 8 and 12 years old.

6. Debbie Harry



Deborah Ann “Debbie” Harry is an American singer-songwriter and actress, best known as the lead singer of the new wave and punk rock band Blondie. She was given up at 3 months and adopted shortly thereafter.

7. Sarah McLachlan



Canadian musician, singer, songwriter and pianist Sarah Ann McLachlan, was given up and adopted at a young age.

8. Truman Capote



Truman Streckfus Persons, known as Truman Capote, was an American author, screenwriter, playwright, and actor. He was raised by relatives after the divorce of his young parents.

9. Tim McGraw



Samuel Timothy “Tim” McGraw is an American singer, songwriter, actor and husband to Singer Faith Hill. He was raised by his mother and stepfather, who he believed was his father.

10. Nelson Mandela



World Legend and former President of South Africa, Nelson Mandela, was raised by a tribe chief after his father’s death when he was 9 years old.

10 Lesser Known Badass Nelson Mandela Facts

11. Gerald Ford



38th President of the United States, Gerald Rudolph Ford Jr. was raised by his stepfather from the age of 2, after which his mother completely changed his name.

12. Trace Cyrus



Trace Dempsey Cyrus is an American musician, son of country singer, Billy Ray Cyrus and brother of Miley Cyrus. The backing vocalist and lead guitarist of the band Metro Station was adopted by his stepfather when he was only 4.

13. Keyshia Cole



After the death of her biological father at age two, popular American singer, songwriter, record producer, businesswoman and television personality was adopted.

14. apl.de.ap



Allan Pineda Lindo better known as apl.de.ap, is a Filipino American rapper, and a member of the Grammy Award-winning group ‘Black Eyed Peas’. He was adopted from the Philippines at age 14 by an American sponsor for young abandoned and orphaned children.

15. Frances McDormand

Oct. 27, 2014 - New York, New York, USA - Frances McDormand attends the 'Olive Kitteridge' New York Premiere at SVA Theater on October 27, 2014 in New York City (Credit Image: © Future-Image/ZUMA Wire)


American actress, Frances Louise McDormand was adopted alongside with her siblings by a minister and his wife.

16. Dean Cain

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Best known as ‘Superman’ in the television series Lois & Clark, Dean George, American actor, producer, and director was adopted by his stepfather at age 3.

17. Michael Bay



Michael Benjamin Bay is an American filmmaker. He was given up and adopted at a young age.

18. Gary Coleman

Gary Coleman, of the teelvison series "Diff'rent Strokes" and his wife Shannon Price, appear on the the NBC "Today" television program in New York, Tuesday Feb. 26, 2008. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)


Ranked on ‘Best Short Actors, Greatest Former Child Stars’ among other rankings, American actor and comedian, Gary Wayne Coleman was given up and adopted at a young age.

19. Ingrid Bergman



Ingrid Bergman was a Swedish actress who starred in a variety of European and American films. She was raised by aunts and uncles after the deaths of her parents when she was 3 and 13.

20. Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs

Founder of Apple, and one of the most irreplaceable CEOs of all time, Steve Jobs was given up and adopted at birth.

20 Things You Didn’t Know About Steve Jobs

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