Sam Cooke

King of Soul
Birth Name:
Samuel Cook
Birth Date:
January 22, 1931
Birth Place:
Clarksdale, Mississippi
Death Date:
December 11, 1964
Place of Death:
Motel Hacienda, 9137 S. Figueroa Street, Los Angeles, California
Cause of Death:
Homicide - gunshot wounds
Cemetery Name:
Forest Lawn Memorial Park
Claim to Fame:
Sam Cooke's intonation was exquisitely exact. His command of pitch and texture were flawless. His skills as a vocalist were - and remain over sixty years since his untimely death - unsurpassed by the vocal royalty of his day. Neither Otis Redding, Aretha Franklin or Ray Charles could reach his status as a stylist and vocalist of widespread, enduring influence. Yet Sam Cooke - producer, songwriter, performer, label owner and supreme architect of gospel-pop crossover - will forever be remembered with a tinge of sadness and mystery.

Fun Fact

The body wasn’t even cold when Bobby Womack, wearing Sam Cooke’s clothes and the watch he was wearing when he was murdered, stepped from the limousine to escort his fiance Barbara Cooke (yeah … Sam’s widow) to the funeral services. Less than three months after Cooke’s death Barbara married Bobby Womack. Five years later Barbara divorced Bobby due to his drug habit and the claim Bobby sexual molested Sam Cooke’s daughter Linda.

And what happened to Sam’s cherry red Ferrari that he drove the night of his death? Dennis Wilson from The Beach Boys later bought Cooke’s red Ferrari 250 GTL Lusso. Wilson, a huge Sam Cooke fan, supposedly routinely drove around L.A. in the car listening to Cooke’s music. On December 28, 1983, a drunken Wilson drowned in Marina Del Rey. Sam’s car was parked nearby. In 2007, the car sold to a Japanese collector for an undisclosed, but reportedly, world record sum.

Cemetery Information:

Final Resting Place:

Forest Lawn Memorial Park

1712 S Glendale Ave, Glendale, CA 91205

Glendale, California, 91205


North America


Grave Location:

Court of Freedom, Garden of Honor, Crypt 5728

Grave Location Description

If you can enter the Garden of Honor (it is a locked garden only available to keyholders) as you enter walk along the walkway on the left until you come upon the Davis statue. Look to the right in the center lawn area and you will quickly find Sam Cooke’s final resting place

Two notes – first the Garden of Honor is only open to the public on Easter Sunday and second, if the door is ajar or you choose to follow a keyholder you need to remember, the door is locked both ways and you will not be able to get out of the garden.



Grave Location GPS

34.12271, -118.23590

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