Sep. 11th, 1970
Washington, District of Columbia, USA
Taraji P. Henson's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles
Guest TV Roles[none found]
Henson was born in southeast Washington, D.C., the daughter of Bernice Gordon, a corporate manager at Woodward & Lothrop, and Boris Henson, a janitor and fabricator. She is a relative of the Arctic explorer, Matthew Henson, who was with the Peary expedition, thought to have been the first to reach the North Pole, in 1909. (Peary's claim has been disputed.) Her first and middle name are of Swahili origin, taraji meaning hope and penda meaning love.
Henson spent summers at her grandparents' house in suburban southern Maryland. She attended Oxon Hill High School in Oxon Hill, Maryland. She first attended NC A&T, where she started a major in Electrical Engineering. She later transferred to Howard University. She worked two jobs—in the morning as a secretary at the Pentagon and in the night as a singing and dancing waitress on a dinner cruise ship—The Spirit of Washington—to pay for Howard University. She won the Triple Threat Award and graduated with a degree in Theater Arts.
- First and middle names are Swahili for 'hope' and 'love', respectively.
- Contrary to previously published accounts, Taraji is a relative, not a descendant, of North Pole explorer Matthew Henson.
- Born and raised in Washington, DC and attended Oxon Hill High School in Oxon Hill, Maryland.
- First attended North Carolina Agric & Tech where she attempted to study Electrical Engineering. She failed Pre-Calculus so she transferred to Howard University. She worked two jobs: in the morning as a secretary at the Pentagon; in the night as a singing and dancing waitress on a dinner cruise ship to pay for Howard. She graduated from Howard University in 1995.
- Voted one of "The 10 Sexiest Women of 2001" by the readers of Black Men Magazine.
- The father of her only son died unexpectedly in 1997.
- Has a son named Marcel.
- An only child.