Louis Armstrong and Neil Armstrong are two famous figures in American history. Louis Armstrong was a jazz musician and singer who is widely regarded as one of the most influential artists of the 20th century. Neil Armstrong was an astronaut and the first person to walk on the Moon in 1969. But are they related by blood?
The Claim: Louis Armstrong’s Grandfather Was Neil Armstrong
There is a rumor that Louis Armstrong and Neil Armstrong are related, and that Neil Armstrong was actually Louis Armstrong’s grandfather. This claim is based on the following arguments:
- They share the same surname, which is not very common in the US.
- They both have connections to Ohio, where Neil Armstrong was born and where Louis Armstrong spent some time in his early career.
- They both have blue eyes, which is rare among African Americans.
- They both achieved fame and success in their respective fields.
The Evidence: No Proof of Any Family Ties
However, there is no evidence to support this claim, and it is most likely false. Here are some reasons why:
- The surname Armstrong is of Scottish origin, and it is not uncommon in the US. According to the 2010 census, there were about 135,000 people with the last name Armstrong in the US, ranking it as the 217th most common surname
- The connections to Ohio are coincidental and do not imply any family relationship. Neil Armstrong was born and raised in Wapakoneta, Ohio, while Louis Armstrong only lived in Toledo, Ohio for a few months in 1929, when he joined King Oliver’s band
- The blue eyes of Louis Armstrong are not inherited from Neil Armstrong, but from his mixed-race ancestry. Louis Armstrong’s father, William Armstrong, was a light-skinned African American who may have had some European or Native American ancestry. Louis Armstrong’s mother, Mary Albert, was also of mixed race, with some Choctaw blood2
- The fame and success of Louis Armstrong and Neil Armstrong are not related to their genetics, but to their talents, hard work, and opportunities. Louis Armstrong learned to play the cornet at a young age and developed his unique style of jazz improvisation and singing. He became one of the most popular and influential musicians of his time, with hits like “What a Wonderful World” and “Hello Dolly”. Neil Armstrong studied aeronautical engineering at Purdue University and became a naval aviator and a test pilot. He joined NASA as an astronaut and became the first person to walk on the Moon as part of the Apollo 11 mission.
The Conclusion: No Relation Between Louis Armstrong and Neil Armstrong
Based on the available information, there is no reason to believe that Louis Armstrong and Neil Armstrong are related by blood. They share a common surname, but that does not mean they share a common ancestor. They have some similarities in their appearance and achievements, but that does not mean they have a genetic link. They are both remarkable individuals who made history in their own ways, but they are not family.