Della Beatrice Howard Robinson: A Life of Grace and Resilience

Della Beatrice Howard Robinson, often known as “Bea,” is a name that resonates with grace, and resilience, and a significant chapter in the life of the legendary musician Ray Charles. Her story is one of strength, love, and perseverance, making her an inspiring figure in her own right. Born in 1929 in Los Angeles, California, she is an American of African-American heritage. As of 2024, she is 95 years old. This article delves into the life of Della Beatrice Howard Robinson, exploring her early years, her marriage to Ray Charles, and her enduring legacy.

Early Life and Educational Background

About Della Beatrice Howard Robinson was born on September 23, 1929, in the small town of Richmond, Texas. Growing up in the segregated South, she faced numerous challenges but remained determined to carve out a better life for herself. Her early years were marked by a strong sense of community and family values, which would later play a crucial role in her life.

Robinson’s educational background is not extensively documented, but it is known that she valued education and instilled the same in her children. Her upbringing in a close-knit community provided her with the resilience and strength that would later define her life.

How Old is Della Beatrice Howard Robinson?

As of 2024, Della Beatrice Howard Robinson is 94 years old. Her longevity is a testament to her strength and resilience, qualities that have defined her life journey.

Della Beatrice Howard Robinson’s Profile Summary and Bio

  • Full Name: Della Beatrice Howard Robinson
  • Nickname: Bea
  • Date of Birth: September 23, 1929
  • Place of Birth: Richmond, Texas, USA
  • Age: 94 years (as of 2024)
  • Nationality: American
  • Known For: Being the ex-wife of Ray Charles
  • Children: Three sons with Ray Charles
Della Beatrice Howard Robinson

Who Was Ray Charles’ First Wife?

About Ray Charles‘ first wife was Eileen Williams, whom he married in 1951. However, their marriage was short-lived, lasting only a year. Della Beatrice Howard Robinson became his second wife, and their marriage lasted much longer, from 1955 to 1977.

How Many Children Did Ray Charles Have with Beatrice?

Della Beatrice Howard Robinson and Ray Charles had three sons together: Ray Charles Robinson Jr., David Robinson, and Robert Robinson. Their children have carried forward the legacy of their parents in various ways, contributing to the arts and maintaining the family’s storied history.

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What is Della Beatrice Howard Robinson’s Net Worth?

While Della Beatrice Howard Robinson’s exact net worth is not publicly known, it is estimated to be in the range of $15 million. This estimation considers her share of Ray Charles’ estate and other financial assets accumulated over the years.

Divorce and Life After Ray Charles

The marriage between Della Beatrice Howard Robinson and Ray Charles was marked by both love and turbulence. Ray Charles’ struggle with drug addiction and infidelity put a strain on their relationship, leading to their divorce in 1977. Despite the challenges, Robinson remained a devoted mother and continued to support her children.

After the divorce, Robinson led a relatively private life, focusing on her family and personal well-being. She maintained a dignified silence about her life with Ray Charles, choosing to let her actions speak louder than words.

Legacy and Influence

Della Beatrice Howard Robinson’s legacy is intertwined with that of Ray Charles, but she stands out as a remarkable individual in her own right. Her strength and resilience have inspired many, and her role as a mother and matriarch of the Robinson family is a testament to her enduring influence.

Interesting Facts and Anecdotes

  • Nickname: Della Beatrice was affectionately known as “Bea” by those close to her.
  • Support System: Despite the challenges in her marriage, she was a steadfast support system for Ray Charles, helping him navigate his career and personal struggles.
  • Private Life: After her divorce, Robinson chose to live a private life, away from the public eye, focusing on her family and personal growth.
  • Cultural Impact: Her life story was depicted in the 2004 biographical film “Ray,” where she was portrayed by actress Kerry Washington.


Della Beatrice Howard Robinson’s life is a testament to the power of resilience, love, and grace. Her journey, marked by significant challenges and triumphs, continues to inspire many. As the ex-wife of Ray Charles, she played a crucial role in his life and career, but her legacy extends far beyond her association with the legendary musician. Robinson’s story is one of strength, dignity, and enduring influence, making her a remarkable figure in her own right.

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