Home Finding Your Roots (PBS) Who is LeVar Burton’s father?

Who is LeVar Burton’s father?

The 10th season of “Finding Your Roots” looks into the family trees of famous people, such as the famous actor LeVar Burton, to show how complicated family roots can be. The theme of dads and Sons is very important this season, and the mysteries and stories of people who grew up without their dads are being revealed. LeVar Burton is one of the participants. He is known for his parts in “Roots,” “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” and as the beloved host of “Reading Rainbow.” tvacute takes a trip through the interesting story of LeVar Burton’s life, search for a father, and how becoming a father changed him deeply.

Who is the father of LeVar Burton?

LeVar Burton’s dad, Levardis Robert Martyn Burton Sr., was a photojournalist for the U.S. Army Signal Corps and was based in Landstuhl, West Germany when LeVar was born. Levardis was born in California on July 2, 1934. He was an NCO in the Army and worked his way up to Sergeant First Class before leaving in 1976. He was married to Erma Gene (Ward) Christian.

LeVar Burton didn’t spend much time with his father as a child, and the fact that Levardis and Erma Gene split up when LeVar was young made things even worse between them. Because his father wasn’t around, LeVar didn’t have many memories of him. He mostly used pictures to connect with a father he didn’t know much about. Although they lived far apart, Burton Sr. sent a congratulatory letter after the success of “Roots,” which marked a turning point and began a slow process of reconnecting.

The Sandspur says that he went to one of LeVar’s literacy talks for the first time in 2015. In 2019, Burton Jr. tweeted about his father’s military service and said that his father had become a deacon.

LeVar Burton’s Childhood

Burton Jr. said he wanted to be a priest when he was only eight years old, and he imagined himself as the first Black pope. Burton’s strong faith drove him to take steps toward becoming a priest. He even caused a stir in church when he was turned away from communion because of his age. But when he was 13, he started having questions about the Catholic faith, which caused a big change in his focus. Burton changed his destiny when he was 17 years old and chose a road that would lead him to acting.

Finding Your Roots: LeVar Burton

Henry Louis Gates, Jr. hosts the show Finding Your Roots, which looks into the ancestry and genealogy of famous people. Often, the show finds surprising links and hidden family histories. Many surprising family ties and secret histories were found in LeVar Burton’s episode of “Finding Your Roots” that not many people knew about before the show.

Burton’s father’s family had a strong educational background, which was one of the most important things they found. It was his grandfather, Aaron C. Burton, and his great-grandfather, Pearl B. Burton, who ran schools. Pearl, in particular, spent a lot of his adult life working in schools. He even opened a public school in Osceola, Arkansas, just for African American kids. This information showed that Burton’s family has a strong dedication to schooling.

Burton found out that his great-great-grandfather on his dad’s side was a representative in the Arkansas General Assembly. This position was made possible by the Reconstruction Act of 1867, which gave black men in states that used to be Confederate the right to vote two years after the war finished. His family had a long history of politics that showed they cared about public service and the fight for human rights.

These revelations made LeVar Burton feel very sad. Finding out about the hidden parts of his family past made him feel connected and understood, especially since he hadn’t talked to his father in decades. The episode showed how important it is to find out about family history and how that information can change a person’s sense of who they are.

Who is LeVar Burton’s Son?

After his parents split up, Burton Jr. was raised by a single mother. He wanted to break the cycle of absentee fatherhood. LeVar Burton didn’t talk to his son Eian for the first three years of his life because he didn’t know. Strangely, the star found out he was a father from the Los Angeles District Attorney.

A year after Burton got back in touch with Eian who was born in 1980, the child’s mother said Burton had taken the child on a two-week trip without permission. Burton was then accused of kidnapping. These claims were denied by Burton’s agent, who said that Eian Burton’s biological mother Chimara P. Smith had asked the actor to take him for an “indefinite period” because she was having a hard time dealing with him.

As soon as Burton realized what it meant to grow up without a father, he took steps right away to be a present father. This realization made him vow to break the cycle of absentee fatherhood, even though co-parenting caused him legal and emotional problems over the next few years. Their friendship grew stronger as the actor worked hard to give his son stability and a sense of belonging.

LeVar Burton had some scary experiences with the cops while he was at the University of Southern California. Burton was frequently stopped by the Los Angeles Police Department, even though he wasn’t guilty. In a scary event, he was faced with a pistol at point-blank range. It was a turning point in his life. This event changed Burton’s view on racial profiling and made him tell his son certain things to do to avoid being wrongly suspected during police stops.

Eian Burton, son of LeVar Burton, is a successful California basketball coach and educator. After playing at Los Altos High School, he coached at Saint Andrew’s Episcopal School and co-founded an A.A.U. basketball squad. Eian founded, directed, and coached the Spartans Basketball Academy, mentoring and establishing a community for local youth. His desire to develop basketball talent and build a good program comes from his family.

LeVar Burton’ Mother Now

In July 2018, LeVar Burton lost two very important people in his life: his mother, Erma Jean, and his younger sister, Valencia. Erma, who worked as a social worker, supervisor, and teacher, had a big impact on Burton’s love of books. Valencia, who was said to be “camera shy,” stayed out of Burton’s life more. He said that “complications from diabetes” had killed both of them. Burton was going through a hard time when all of these family members died at the same time. This affected his art, especially his first children’s book, “The Rhino Who Swallowed a Storm.” Even though he is sad, Burton keeps honoring their memories by tying their lives into his work to promote reading and stories.

The first book that LeVar Burton wrote for kids was called “The Rhino Who Swallowed a Storm.” Burton was moved to write about recovery and loss after terrible events like a storm and a mass shooting. He did this by remembering his late friend Fred Rogers. Burton cared about children’s health and happiness in more ways than just his work on screen and in books. For example, he started the PBS kids’ show Reading Rainbow to help kids love reading for 23 years and won 12 Daytime Emmy Awards and a Peabody Award for his work.

LeVar Burton’s efforts were hampered by the law. WNED, the public broadcaster that owns the rights to Reading Rainbow, sued Burton and his business, RRKIDZ. The 2017 lawsuit claimed “theft and extortion,” along with making false claims about talks between Netflix and Reading Rainbow to bring the show back.

Where is LeVar Burton Now?

levar-burton-stephanie-cozart-burton- with their daughter

LeVar Burton married make-up artist Stephanie Cozart on October 3, 1992. Stephanie was born on November 10, 1953, and raised in Fort Wayne, Indiana. She studied sociology at Indiana University Bloomington. She also went to Joe Blasco Make-Up School and learned how to do her job there. Based on her LinkedIn page, Stephanie is in charge of makeup for The Upshaws at Netflix. Stephanie met the man she would marry on the set of Roots: The Gift in 1988. They went out together for almost four years before they got married.

Stephanie and LeVar have a daughter together named Michaela “Mica” Jean Burton aka Mica. She was born on July 8, 1994.  As her dad did, Mica has done the same thing. A bachelor of fine arts in acting was what she got from the University of Michigan School of Theater and Dance in 2016. She was an actress who worked for Avalon Artists Group and was in TV shows and music videos. In 2023, Mica even got to work with her dad on Star Trek: Picard. In April of that year, LeVar told PEOPLE how happy he was to bring his daughter to work. In California, Sherman Oaks is where the family lives.

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