Malcolm X was one of the most prominent figures during the American civil rights movement. His father, Earl Little, was an outspoken Baptist lay speaker, while his mother, Louise, was an activist.
Unfortunately, Malcolm’s father was found dead on the street in 1931, probably murdered by Ku Klux Klan members. Consequently, his wife lost her sanity and was institutionalized in a mental facility in Kalamazoo.
Malcolm grew up with his many sisters and brothers in several foster homes. If you want to know more about them, this article is for you. Below you will find all the information about Malcolm X’s siblings, ranked modest to youngest.
Unfortunately, we couldn’t find the exact date of birth of two of them, namely Robert Little and Mary Little, so we decided to include them at the beginning of our list.
11. Robert Little
Robert Little is one of Malcolm X’s siblings. Unfortunately, public information about his life is unavailable.
10. Mary Little
Mary Little is one of Malcolm X’s siblings. Similarly to her brother Robert, not much is known about her life.
9. Ella Collins (1914 – 1996)
Age at time of death: c. 82 Years Old
Birthplace: Butler, Georgia, USA
Profession: Leader of the Organization of Afro-American Unity
photo source: wikipedia.org
Ella Little-Collins came into the world in 1914 and was probably Malcolm X’s oldest sister. She was born to Earl Little and Daisy Little in Butler, Georgia. Similarly to her brother Malcolm, Ella was known for her civil rights activism.
Ella worked as a secretary for Adam Clayton Powell, a congressman. But this was not her only job. She also spent her time working as a manager at her mother’s grocery store, as well as an investor in house property.
In the mid-1950s, she joined the Nation of Islam, a religious and political organization founded by Wallace Fard Muhammad. In these years, she also helped establish its mosque in Boston as well as a daycare center located next to it.
However, a few years later, in 1959, she left the organization to become a Sunni Muslim.
Ella lived together with his step-brother Malcolm for a few years before he turned 21. The house where the two lived together is now the last surviving childhood home of Malcolm X, and it has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 2021.
Following Malcolm’s assassination, Ella paid for his funeral and took over his Organization of Afro-American Unity. In 1988, Ella’s legs had to be amputated due to gangrene. She died roughly eight years later, in 1996.
Did You Know?
Malcolm X met his half-sister when he was in seventh grade. The meeting deeply influenced his life, and he later described it, saying she was “The first really proud black woman I had ever seen (…) I had never been so impressed with anybody.”
8. Wilfred X (February 12, 1920 – May 19, 1998)
Age at time of death: 78 years, 3 months, 7 days
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Profession: Founder and Secretary of Nation of Islam Temple No. 1
Wilfred Little was born in February 1920 to Earl Little and Louise Little. He was their first son, and following their death, he had to take care of his many siblings.
Wilfred joined the Nation of Islam in 1947 and served as secretary and founder of Temple No. 1 in Detroit. He was the one who introduced Malcolm X to the Nation of Islam.
Did You Know?
After Malcolm’s assassination, Wilfred moved to Michigan Bell, where he worked as a manager in public affairs.
7. Hilda Florice Little (October 22, 1921 – 2015)
Age at time of death: c.93 Years Old
Hilda Florice Little was born in October 1921 to Earl Little and Louise Little. Unfortunately, not much is known about her, except for the fact that she passed away in 2015 at the age of 93 years old.
6. Philbert X (May 4, 1923 – February 15, 1994)
Age at time of death: 70 years, 9 months, 11 days
Philbert was born in 1923 to Earl Little and Louise Little. Unfortunately, not much is known about him except that at some point in his life, he decided to change his name to Abdul A. Omar. Together with many of his siblings, he was also a member of the Nation of Islam.
Did You Know?
Talking about his brother Malcolm X, Philibert said: “He didn’t have the temerity, I suppose you’d call it, to be bad. Malcolm was good. Everybody who knows Malcolm would tell you, he was a good man. And this is even before he came into Islam. He was a good man. He was not vulgar. He did not use vulgarity. And he was not disrespectful of your rights, this kind of a thing.”
5. Malcolm X (May 19, 1925 – February 21, 1965)
Age at time of death: 39 years, 9 months, 2 days
Birthplace: Omaha, Nebraska, USA
Profession: Minister and Human Rights Activist
photo source: Picryl
Malcolm X was an American Muslim minister and human rights activist. He advocated Black empowerment and promoted Islam within his community.
Malcolm was the face of the Nation of Islam for 12 years. He supported the separation of Black and White Americans and criticized Martin Luther King Jr. for promoting nonviolence and racial integration.
In the 1960s, Malcolm X abandoned the Nation of Islam and embraced Sunni Islam. He was assassinated in NYC on February 21, 1965. Three members of the Nation of Islam were charged with the murder and given life sentences.
Did You Know?
To this day, various cities in America celebrate Malcolm X Day either on the 19th of May or on the third Friday of the month.
4. Reginald Little (August 23, 1927 – 2001)
Age at time of death: c. 74 Years Old
Birthplace: Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA
Zodiac Sign: Virgo
Reginald was one of Malcolm X’s youngest brothers. He was born in 1927 to Louise and Earl Little and used to be extremely close to his older brother, Malcolm, following him everywhere. Not by chance, when Malcolm moved to Harlem, Reginald decided to join him.
Unlike his older brother, however, Reginald never had to put himself in a dangerous situation to get money.
Unfortunately, despite joining the Nation of Islam, Reginald was kicked out of the organization. Not even his older brother Malcolm forgave him for this. Consequently, Reginald lost his sanity and was put in an institution.
Did You Know?
Talking about his brother Reginald, Malcolm said, “Reginald showed, in often surprising ways, more sense than a lot of working hustlers twice his age. Reginald then was only sixteen, but, a six-footer, he looked and acted much older than his years.”
3. Wesley Little (1928 – present)
Current Age (as of January 2023): c. 94/95 Years Old
Wesley Little was one of Malcolm’s youngest sisters. Not much is known about her life.
2. Yvonne Little Woodward (August 11, 1929 – July 21, 2003)
Age at time of death: 73 years, 11 months, 10 days
Birthplace: Lansing, Michigan, USA
Profession: Telephone Operator
Yvonne Little Woodward was born in August 1929 and was Malcolm X’s youngest sister. She grew up to become the first African American telephone operator for Michigan Bell in Grand Rapids back in 1948.
The following year, Yvonne married Robert Jones and settled in Grand Rapids. Her son, Steve Jones, said about her, “She knew if she didn’t do the right thing, it would take years for them to take a chance to hire another Black operator. In Grand Rapids, the operators took a vote to see if the girls were willing to have a ‘Negro’ work with them. The vote was unanimous except one vote—and my mother found out who she was and won her over.”
Yvonne was often called to speak at various events because of her brother’s fame. She also had a daughter, Deborah Jones, who was very fond of her.
Yvonne died at the age of 73 years old in 2003.
Did You Know?
Talking about her mother, Louise Little, Yvonne said: “My mother had a lot of pride. (…) She crocheted gloves for people. She rented out garden space and she sharecropped with the man who would come and rent garden space from her. We had a dump behind our house—and she rented that too.”
1. Earl Little Jr. (August 31, 1938 – present)
Current Age (as of January 2023): 84 years, 4 months, 13 days
Birthplace: Lansing, Michigan
Profession: Social Work and Chief Administrator of the the Michigan Department of Social Services
Earl Little Jr. was Malcolm X’s youngest sibling, born in 1938. With his two youngest siblings, he was put in a foster home following the death of his parents.
Earl later went to study at Sexton High School in Lansing and enrolled at Michigan State University. He was the first person in the family to receive a college education.
Earl loved studying and earned a Master’s in social work and criminal justice in 1963. He always credited his brother Malcolm X for encouraging him to finish his education. In fact, during the civil rights movements of the late 1950s, Earl wanted to join his brother in his social activism. However, Malcolm convinced him to finish his studies.
It worked out well, and in 1961, Earl was employed by the Michigan Department of Social Services as a social worker. He was promoted throughout the years and worked as a manager, Wayne County director, bureau chief, and chief administrator.
Earl was married and had two daughters and a foster son.
Did You Know?
In an interview with The New York Times, Earl declared: “Had it not been for the special family that helped me and raised me, I wouldn’t be where I am (…) I have insisted that people who work with me realize they have a special purpose. Working with children is not like making widgets—any decision you make about a person is literally a life-and-death decision.”