Academy Award-nominated writer-director Cord Jefferson parents, Susan M. Haas and Wilson C. “Jeff” Jefferson Jr., are the main reason behind his success.
His breakthrough in 2013 came when Chris Hayes, host of MSNBC’s All In, invited him on the show after discovering a noteworthy column Cord had written while serving as the West Coast editor of Gawker.
Transitioning into television, he commenced his career as a staff writer for “Survivor’s Remorse” and “The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore.”
Progressing in his journey, he later became a story editor and consulting producer for “Master of None” and “The Good Place.”
Jefferson was recognized for contributing to the HBO limited series “Watchmen” (2019) and was honored with the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing for a Limited Series or Movie.
His feature directorial debut took place in 2023 with the release of the satirical film “American Fiction.”
Cord Jefferson Parents: White Mother & Black Father
Born in January 1982 to a white mother, Susan M. Haas, and a black father, Wilson C. “Jeff” Jefferson Jr., Cord’s parents reflect a diverse background.
Growing up in Tucson, Arizona, he spent his childhood as one of 30 or 40 Black students in a school system where the majority belonged to the Latino community.
When Jefferson turned 14, during his first year of high school, his parents divorced, with his attorney father handling legal matters.
He attended the College of William & Mary in Virginia, following his father’s legacy, who also graduated from law school there.
Facing the need for a kidney transplant in July 2008, Jefferson stepped forward to donate one of his kidneys to his father, who was living in Saudi Arabia.
Despite his father living in Saudi Arabia, the Jefferson father-son duo share a strong bond.
Cord chronicled his experience with atrial fibrillation in an essay, sharing details about treatment and the positive life changes post-surgery.
Jefferson, the youngest of three, faced the challenge of balancing his writing career while taking care of his ailing mother and dealing with guilt.
Sadly, his mother passed away in 2016 following a courageous battle with cancer.
Recalling his early days during the ‘Person of the Week’ Podcast, he shared that his mother was disowned by her family when she married his father. The notable story is that they began dating right before Christmas.
He also mentioned that her parents declared they never wanted to speak to her again. His mom, with a somewhat skeptical attitude, thought, ‘Sure, yeah, okay, never.’
So, she went out, bought Christmas gifts for her parents, brother, and siblings, and left them on the front door at their home.
Cord Jefferson As A Oscar Nominated Writer
Cord Jefferson, the writer-director, achieved his initial Oscar nomination on January 23, 2024 (Tuesday), for “American Fiction” in the Adapted Screenplay category.
Centering around Thelonious “Monk” Ellison (Jeffrey Wright), “American Fiction” explores the story of a perceptive and disenchanted author who questions the lucrative nature of Black entertainment fueled by discriminatory behaviors and tropes.
The Academy Motion Picture Arts and Sciences voters, acknowledging the film’s lasting impression, honored Amazon MGM Studios with four more nominations.
Laura Karpman received a nomination for Music (Original Score), Sterling K. Brown for Actor in a Supporting Role, Jeffrey Wright for Actor in a Leading Role, and the film itself secured a nomination for Best Picture.
When asked about his Oscars ceremony date at the Dolby Theatre on Sunday, March 10, Jefferson shared that he plans to take his girlfriend and his 82-year-old father.
He expressed a strong desire to have the chance to bring his dad to the Oscars and mentioned, “I’m going to try to get two tickets.”