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Ray Charles left an indelible mark on music over his legendary career. Though blind from age seven, Charles overcame adversity through his prodigious talent to become one of the most important artists ever. While his genius made him a global icon, Charles lived a complicated personal life with many romantic relationships and children along the way before settling down later in life. So exactly how many kids does Ray Charles have?

Ray Charles Had 12 Biological Children

Over the course of various relationships and marriages, Ray Charles fathered 12 biological children:

  • Four children with his backup singer, Louise Mitchell – Evelyn, Craig, Raenee, and Robert
  • Three children with girlfriend Mae Mosely Lyles – Ray Jr., David (deceased), and Reverend Robert Robinson
  • Two daughters with Della Beatrice Howard Robinson – Raina and Alexandra
  • Two daughters with Mary Anne den Bok – Robyn and Ryan
  • One son named Vincent with girlfriend Arlette Kotchounian

Though this totals 13 kids, sadly son David passed away shortly after birth. So Ray Charles ultimately had 12 living children over the years across multiple marriages and relationships.

Marriages and Romantic Partners

Ray Charles was married twice but had several long-term unmarried partners as well with whom he parented children:

  • Eileen Williams: Charles’ first wife from 1951-1952 though the two had no children together.
  • Della Beatrice Howard Robinson: Charles married Della in 1955 and they remained together for 22 years until 1977, raising their daughters Raina and Alexandra together.
  • Anna Stroud: She was Charles’ official secretary but also his lover for many years though they never married.
  • Mary Anne den Bok: His third wife and mother to their two daughters Robyn and Ryan. They divorced in 2004 after 20 years amidst affairs.

Charles also had children with backup singer Louise Mitchell, Mae Mosely Lyles, and Arlette Kotchounian despite never marrying any of them.

So while married three times, Ray Charles still engaged in various affairs and relationships that produced 12 kids total.

Providing for an Extensive Musical Family

With so many biological children and nearly as many wives/partners, Ray Charles worked extensively to provide for his very large family. He purchased properties in Los Angeles where he brought his children together to bond and pursue their own musical talents.

Several of Charles’ kids also toured or collaborated with their iconic father over the years. Son Ray Charles Jr. became a singer, drummer, and bandleader for his father. Charles made sure music and mentorship opportunities were available for his offspring from an early age.

Over a dozen kids and spouses spanning multiple decades kept Ray Charles extremely busy both professionally and privately. But he strived to nurture his relationships with and provide for all his children the best he could.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some common FAQs about Ray Charles’ family and children:

How many baby mamas did Ray Charles have?

Ray Charles had at least six different long-term partners and girlfriends with whom he fathered children including three wives, though sources vary.

Does Ray Charles have any children still living?

Yes, 8 of Ray Charles’ 12 children are still alive today ranging from their early 40’s to late 60’s in age.

Who inherits Ray Charles’ estate?

The bulk of his estate went to his last wife Mary Anne den Bok and their two youngest children Robyn and Ryan born in 1988 and 1987. The estate continues to generate royalty revenue annually.

Did Ray Charles attend college?

No, Ray Charles did not attend college. He left school at 15 to pursue his professional music career full-time due to poverty and needing to support himself.

Who supported Ray Charles’ kids?

Charles personally provided for all his children’s care and education thanks to his highly successful music career over nearly six decades. He purchased properties specifically for his offspring to congregate and bond in.


Ray Charles left a towering legacy as one of music’s true icons. But he also left behind an enormous family – with 12 children across multiple wives and lovers, Charles spent decades providing for and nurturing his offspring. Though his personal relationships were often complex, his love and care for his children never wavered as he always made sure they were a central part of his incredible life in the spotlight.

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