Ossie Davis

Ossie Davis

About Ossie Davis

Ossie Davis (born Raiford Chatman Davis, December 18, 1917 - February 4, 2005) was an Emmy Award and Grammy Award-winning, American film, television and Broadway actor, director, poet, playwright, author, and social activist. Davis was born Raiford Chatman Davis in Cogdell, Clinch County, Georgia, a son of Kince Charles Davis, a railway construction engineer, and his wife Laura. The name Ossie came from a county clerk who misheard his mother's pronunciation of his initials 'R.C.' when he was born. So he inadvertently became 'Ossie' when his mother told the courthouse clerk in Clinch River, Ga., who was filing his birth certificate that his name was R.C. Davis. Davis experienced racism from an early age as the KKK threatened to shoot his father, whose job they felt was too advanced for a black man to have.

Contributions by Emerson7, Cydebot, and Gamaliel.