From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

Hampton, Lionel L.

(born: 1908  -  died: 2002) 

Lionel Leo Hampton was born in Louisville, KY to Gertrude Morgan and Charles Edward Hampton. The family moved to Alabama when Charles Hampton was killed fighting in World War I, and from Alabama they moved to Chicago.

Lionel Hampton became a jazz musician, composer, and arranger; his big band was formed in 1940. By 1945, Lionel Hampton was the highest paid band leader, performing that same year at Carnegie Hall.

Hampton provided music for five presidential inaugurations. He also founded two record labels and was the only jazz musician with a music school named after him - The Lionel Hampton School of Music at the University of Idaho.

Lionel Hampton was married to Gladys Riddle. He was the son of Gladys M. Morgan Hampton and Charles E. Hampton [source: 1910 U.S. Federal Census and Hamp: an autobiography by L. Hampton]. For more see "Lionel Hampton in the Dictionary of Twentieth Century Culture, vol. 5: African American Culture, ed. by S. Adell; Hamp: an autobiography, by L. Hampton and J. Haskins; Lionel Hampton Library Collection and Extended Biography at the University of Idaho Library website; and "Lionel Hampton: Music was his fountain of youth," at Big Band

Item Relations

Cited in this Entry

NKAA Source: Dictionary of Twentieth Century culture
NKAA Source: Hamp: an autobiography

Related Entries Citing this Entry

NKAA Entry: Burley, Daniel Gardner
NKAA Entry: Kentucky African American Musicians in Illinois (Chicago)

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Hampton, Lionel L.,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed April 17, 2024,

Last modified: 2022-06-08 17:30:27