Larry David Ancestry
Updated on March 1, 2024
Back to top
back to top icon
Larry David Ancestry

Larry David, the comedic genius behind “Seinfeld” and “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” has a family history that is as complex and surprising as the characters he creates.

Let’s explore David’s ancestry, revealing connections to both the Holocaust and the Confederacy and the impact of these revelations on his sense of identity.

Larry David Ancestry 2

David’s Secretive Mother

David’s mother, Rose (born Regina Brandes), was a woman of mystery, keeping her past and even her real name hidden from her family.

It was only after her death that David began to learn the truth about her origins.

In an interview with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. on PBS’s “Finding Your Roots,” Gates said, “I heard that your mom was secretive. Would you say that was right?”

“Yes, you know she was older than my father, right? I never knew that until she died. It’s always puzzled me how little I know,” David reflected on his mother’s secretive nature.

Roots in Poland and the Holocaust

The maternal side of David’s family was tragically impacted by the Holocaust, with many relatives perishing under the Nazi regime.

His maternal grandfather was one of ten siblings in Poland during the late 1930s. He was the only one to escape to America, a decision that saved his life and allowed for the existence of future generations, including Larry.

Connection to Slavery and the Confederacy

In a shocking discovery on the PBS series “Finding Your Roots,” David learned that his great-great-grandfather, Henry Bernstein, fought for the Confederacy during the Civil War and that his ancestors owned slaves.

“Are you telling me that my great-great-grandfather fought for the South in the Civil War? What?! Are you kidding?! That is mind-blowing to me. I can’t believe it,” Larry exclaimed upon learning of his Confederate ancestor.

He was also stunned to find out that his great-grandfather Harry Bernstein owned slaves, a revelation that left him speechless and reflective on the untold stories of his family’s past.

Cultural Heritage and the Impact of History

David’s Jewish heritage is a significant part of his identity, often reflected in his comedic work.

The discovery of his ancestry, including the surprising connection to Senator Bernie Sanders, adds depth to his identity as a Jewish American.

These revelations have prompted David to explore his roots further, connecting with his past and honoring the memory of those who were lost.

Embracing the Genealogical Journey

David’s ancestry is a mosaic of joy, sorrow, survival, and secrecy.

His family’s journey from Poland to the American South and New York City mirrors the broader narrative of Jewish immigration and the lasting impact of the Holocaust and slavery on Jewish families.

As David continues to delve into his roots, he not only reconnects with his past but also ensures that the stories of his ancestors are remembered and told.

David stated, “It’s important to know where you come from. It gives you a sense of grounding, a sense of who you are.”

Exploring David’s ancestry reminds us how much family history shapes how we see ourselves and the world.

The revelations about his mother’s hidden past, his Polish heritage, the shadow of the Holocaust, and the connection to slavery underscore a legacy of resilience and the unbreakable spirit of survival.

Updated on March 1, 2024
Angela Natividad
Angela Natividad
Content Contributor
Angela is a full-time digital content manager and editor for Know Your DNA. She also contributes freelance articles to several local and international websites when she has the time. She's always been a voracious believer in finding the truth and ensuring the science is sound.