Michael A. Jordan and Donna Jordan have close relationships with their movie star son, Michael B. Jordan
"My mom and dad sacrificed so much to provide for my sister, brother and me," Michael B. told PEOPLE in 2020 when he was named Sexiest Man Alive. "I'm just grateful. Honestly, it’s like they all have had such an impact on me and who I am and how I approach each day. Without that, a lot of things about me just wouldn’t be the same. So it all comes back to that foundation. I’m really thankful for that."
At the time, the Creed star also said that the women in his family, including his mom, would be thrilled at him receiving the Sexiest Man Alive honor in particular. “When my grandmother was alive, it was something that she collected, and then my mom naturally reads it a lot and my aunts as well,” he said. “This is one that they’re definitely going to have a special place for."
But Michael B. hasn’t just talked about his parents in interviews — they’ve appeared alongside him in a fashion campaign, on the Oscars red carpet and more. They also lived together for longer than one might expect for a hugely successful movie star and bachelor.
So who are Michael B. Jordan’s beloved parents? Here’s everything to know about Michael A. Jordan and Donna Jordan.
Michael A. and Donna didn’t have Hollywood jobs
Michael B. grew up far from Hollywood, and his parents didn’t work in entertainment.
According to Vanity Fair, Michael A. worked as a supervisor at John F. Kennedy Airport in Queens, New York, and went on to start a catering business. Donna, meanwhile, worked as a guidance counselor at Michael B.’s middle school, as well as a teacher at his high school.
The family has ties to New Jersey and California
Michael B. was born in Santa Ana, California, but his family moved to Newark, New Jersey, when he was a toddler. Michael A. is from Los Angeles, while Donna is from New Jersey. They moved to be closer to her family.
“Family is everything,” Donna told Vanity Fair. “You protect your family, you make sure that everyone is taken care of, you know? That structure was passed down from my grandmother and grandfather. Together, they were unbelievable. Very political, always working for politics, working in the community, making sure everyone had what they needed.”
Although Michael B. was born in California, he considers himself to be from the East Coast because he moved at such a young age.
“My first two years were in California, but I claim East Coast. I'm sorry, I don’t rep California,” he told HuffPost in 2013.
Donna got her son into acting
Michael B. can give his mom credit for the career he has today, as she was the one to get him started in modeling, which later led to acting.
“I was just at the time thinking about college tuition and that sort of thing,” she told Vanity Fair. “Little did I know that it was going to be job, after job, after job, after job.”
Similarly, the Fruitvale Station star told HuffPost: “My mom got me started on lots of things and it just snowballed. … I just started booking at a really young age; little small modeling jobs, to extra work, to background, to little commercials. And then I booked [Cosby] and The Sopranos and just kept going. I fell in love with it when I was probably around 14. It was the first time I really lost myself in a character and I was like, ‘Wow what is that feeling? Is that what acting is?’ ”
Michael B. bought his parents a house
In 2015, Michael B. purchased a house for his parents — something he said was a dream come true. “Look, it’s every kid’s dream, to buy their mom and dad a house,” he told The Times in 2018. The Sherman Oaks, California, home cost about $1.7 million.
The house was featured in Michael B.’s “73 Questions” video for Vogue in 2017. Donna was shown baking his “grandmother’s famous rum cakes,” while Michael A. did some grilling in the backyard.
In the video, Michael B. was asked to describe his parents in three words. For his mom, he said, “Loving, embarrassing — sometimes — and nurturing. Very nurturing.” For his dad, he replied, “Strong, quiet, thinker.”
He lived with them even after he became successful
His parents were heavily featured in the “73 Questions” video because Michael B. was living with them at the time.
“I love my parents, but we have a roommate relationship right now, which is interesting,” he shared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show in 2018. “You get home-cooked meals, but then you also have those random trips to the kitchen in the middle of the night, and just the random run-ins that just might be a little uncomfortable from time to time.” Asked if the run-ins were awkward because he was naked, Michael B. joked, “Sometimes shirtless. Maybe a little naked.”
Two years later, in another appearance on Ellen, Michael B. shared that he had moved out of the house he bought for them and into his own place about 20 minutes away. “I’m pretty sure they saged the entire house when I left. They lit incense and bleached it down and got rid of all of me,” he joked.
He doesn’t plan to pass on his and his dad’s names
Michael B. was obviously named after his father, Michael A. — not after basketball player Michael Jordan as some have assumed. But the actor doesn’t plan to name his own child Michael C. Jordan, if he ever has kids.
"I am breaking that circle right there," Michael B. told Ellen DeGeneres on her show in 2021. "It's too much. The pressure I had to live up to my dad's name and I'm not gonna put that on my kid. I'm gonna give him his own identity. … He's gotta walk in his own shoes."
Donna recalled choosing her son’s name in a 2005 interview with The Star-Ledger. “After 89 hours of labor, I told my husband, 'I don't care what you call him,’ ” she said.
The family starred in a fashion campaign together
In 2020, the whole Jordan family — including Michael B.’s older sister Jamila Jordan-Theus and younger brother Khalid Jordan — starred in a holiday campaign for Coach.
"I don’t think I’ve ever had my family be a part of one of my campaigns or a part of my work before," Michael B. told PEOPLE. "Just crossing over family and business … it was a fun experience."
Donna added, “It's always wonderful being with my family.” Her actor son joked, "I paid her to say that."
Michael B. and his mom collaborated on a special cupcake
The Coach campaign wasn’t the only time Michael B. worked with his mom. In 2019, they collaborated on a limited-edition flavor for Sprinkles Cupcakes. The cupcake was inspired by his grandmother’s famous rum cake recipe, and the proceeds went to a cause close to them.
“A portion of the proceeds are going to [the nonprofit] Lupus L.A.,” Michael B. said during an interview on The Tonight Show. “My mom suffers from lupus, so this is kind of like my way to give back to the lupus community, and my mom’s way, also.”
He took his mom to the Oscars
Michael B. is a red carpet regular, but Donna has also walked the biggest one in Hollywood.
“My mama about to make me have to fight somebody she looking so pretty,” the actor captioned a photo of himself with Donna on Oscars night, adding the hashtags “#PopsIGotYou” and “#DateNight.”
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