Tiger Woods Family History
Eldrick T. Woods, better known as the golfer Tiger Woods, was born on December 30th, 1975 to Earl and Kultida Woods in Cypress, California. His father Earl was a Vietnam veteran, his mother Kultida was Thai. The young Woods was nicknamed Tiger after a Vietnamese soldier who was a friend of his father in Vietnam.
Tiger, introduced by his father to golf before he was two, was a child prodigy. At three he was putting against the comedian Bob Hope in a TV appearance; at eight he won the boys’ event in the World Junior Golf Championships; and at fifteen he became the youngest-ever US Junior Amateur champion. He participated in his first PGA Major, the 1995 Masters, at the age of nineteen.
The breakthrough year came two years later when he won the 1997 Masters by a staggering twelve strokes. For the next twelve years he would come to dominate the world of golf, winning 14 Majors (only Jack Nicklaus numbered more) and 80 PGA tour events (behind only Sam Snead).
However, everything came tumbling down for him after he crashed his car outside his Florida home in November 2009. There followed numerous accounts of his marital infidelities in the national press (he and his wife Elin were to divorce). Other driving incidents followed. In 2017 he was convicted of reckless driving in Florida; and in 2021 he rolled his car over at high speed in Calfornia and incurred serious leg injuries.
The 2010’s turned out to be a barren decade for Tiger in golf. In addition to his marital and driving problems, he underwent four major back surgeries between 2014 and 2017. It was thought at one time that he might not play golf again. But the miracle happened and he won the 2019 Masters.
Tiger once described his ethnic make-up as “Cablinasian.” This word is a syllabic abbreviation that he had coined from the words Caucasian, Black, American Indian, and Asian.
His father was an African-American whose heritage was said to have included White, Asian and Native American ancestors. The skin tone of his siblings ranged from fairly dark to very light. He remembered that his grandmother Carter, who was of mixed race, was “the prettiest blonde you ever saw.” There was a family joke about an alleged Chinese ancestor who “didn’t stay on his railroad job,” but there is no record of any Chinese ancestry. However, the family was said to have some Native American ancestry.
His mother was originally from Thailand where Earl had met her when he was on a tour of duty there in 1968. She is of mixed Thai, Chinese, and Dutch ancestry. She once referred to herself as “half-Thai, one-quarter Chinese and one-quarter White.”
Tiger’s African American Line
The early history, from the days of slavery, has names but no narrative. John Woods and his first wife Henrietta came from Mississippi. After emancipation John was in St. Landry parish in Louisiana with Katherine.
Their son Miles, born in 1873, moved to Kansas at the time of his marriage to his first wife Viola in 1897. They had five children together before Viola’s early death in 1905. A later marriage to Maude Carter brought six more children, of whom Tiger’s father Earl was the youngest.
Miles was an epileptic and he worked as a street cleaner and caretaker in Manhattan, Kansas. Although he was a devout Baptist, it was said that he also had a reputation for being able to swear for 30 minutes without interruption.
When Miles died in 1943, his widow Maude had to go out to work as a maid. This broke her heart. She died four years later when Earl was fifteen. He was then raised by his older sister Hattie.
Earl grew up in Manhattan and married his high school sweetheart Barbara in 1954. They had three children. He later enlisted in the US army and had two combat tours in the 1960’s during the Vietnam War. His marriage with Barbara ended and he wed his second wife Kultida from Thailand in 1969. He retired from active duty in 1974 and the couple settled in California. Their son Tiger was born in 1975.
In 1972, while stationed in Brooklyn, Earl learned to play golf. From his first experience with golf, he was captivated by it and played a great deal for the remainder of his life. In his latter years, he watched his son Tiger rise to golfing greatness. He died of cancer in 2006 and was buried where he was born, in Manhattan, Kansas.
Tiger Woods’ Paternal Family Tree
- John Woods from Mississippi (1820-1900) m. Henrietta Peters (1822-1898); rem. Katherine Hickman (1858-1927) in Louisiana
- – Ignatius Woods (1856-1912) m. Sarah Hawkins
- – Miles Woods (1873-1943)
- Miles Woods from Louisiana m. Viola Mitchell (1878-1905) in Kansas in 1897; rem. Maude Carter (1893-1947) in Kansas in 1920
- – five children with Viola from 1898 to 1905
- – Miles Woods (1920-1976) m. Dorothy Tucker
- – Hattie Woods (1923-1998)
- – Freda Woods (b. 1924)
- – Lillian Woods (1926-1990) m. Oliver DeGrate
- – Mabel Woods (b. 1931)
- – Earl Woods (1932-2006)
- Earl Woods from Kansas m. Barbara Hart (b. 1935) in 1954 (divorced in 1968); rem. Kultida (Tida) Punsawad (b. 1944) in Brooklyn in 1969
- – Earl Woods Jr (b. 1955) m. Susan Jacobs (daughter is golfer Cheyenne Woods)
- – Kevin Woods (b. 1957)
- – Royce Renee Woods (b. 1961)
- – Eldrick (Tiger) Woods (b. 1975 in California)
- Tiger Woods m. Elin Nordegren (b. 1980 in Sweden) in Barbados in 2004, divorced in 2010
- – Sam Alexis Woods (b. 2007)
- – Charlie Woods (b. 2009)
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