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Carl Ellan Kelley, C. L. Franklin’s daughter

Carl Ellan Kelley is the daughter of C. L. Franklin. Carl Ellan Kelley’s father Franklin was an American Baptist minister and civil rights activist. Known as the man with the “Million-Dollar Voice”, Franklin served as the pastor of New Bethel Baptist Church in Detroit, Michigan, from 1946 until he was shot and wounded in 1979.

Carl Ellan Kelley: Profile Summary

Name Carl Ellan Kelley
Famous as daughter of C. L. Franklin
Birthday November 17, 1940
Age 79 years old at the time of her death
Date of Death January 30, 2019
Nationality American
Ethnicity Black
Zodiac sign Scorpio
Parents  Father- C. L. Franklin, Mother- Mildred Jennings
Siblings  Erma Franklin, Carolyn Franklin, Aretha Franklin, Rev. Cecil Franklin

Born on November 17, 1940, Carl Ellan Kelley is the daughter of C. L. Franklin. Carl is the only daughter of her father. She had 4 other siblings, they are Erma Franklin, Carolyn Franklin, Aretha Franklin, Rev. Cecil Franklin.

Carl Ellan was born during his tenure at New Salem Baptist Church in Memphis, Tennessee, and was the last of his children to survive him. Her mother was Mildred Jennings, a 12-year-old member of C.L’s congregation. Carl Ellan died on January 30, 2019, aged 79.

Carl Ellan came into the limelight after she was noted by his father’s biographer, Nick Salvatore. Carl Ellan’s father was married twice. His first marriage was to Alene Gaines, and though that marriage had ended by early 1936, the form of dissolution is unconfirmed. On June 3, 1936, Franklin married Barbara Siggers, with whom he had four children: Erma (1938–2002), Cecil (1940–1989), Aretha (1942–2018), and Carolyn (1944–1988).

Barbara had a son by a previous relationship, Vaughn (1934–2002), whom C. L. adopted shortly after the marriage. Vaughn did not learn that C. L. Franklin was not his father until 1951. When C.L. and Barbara separated (for the last time), Barbara moved with Vaughn to Buffalo, New York, leaving Franklin with the couple’s four other children. The couple never divorced. 

According to biographer Nick Salvatore of Cornell University, Barbara made periodic trips to Detroit to visit her children and they traveled to New York to visit her during summer vacations. Barbara died of a heart attack in 1952 at the age of 34. Her husband did not attend her funeral.

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Carl Ellan Kelley’s half sister, Aretha Louise Franklin was an American singer, songwriter, and pianist. Referred to as the “Queen of Soul”, she has twice been placed 9th in Rolling Stone’s 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. Her sister also passed away in August 16, 2018, in Detroit, Michigan, United States. In Aretha Louise’s will she designated $50,000 to her half sister, Carl.  



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