Leslie Kotkin: Bio, Education, Net Worth and More

Leslie Kotkin: Bio, Education, Net Worth and More

Written by Kenneth Sawyer, In Celeb, Published On
October 19, 2023

American philosopher, political activist, social critic, novelist, and public intellectual Cornel West calls himself “a prominent and provocative democratic intellectual”. He was affected by parishioners’ stories of hardship, faith, and hope as a boy, the grandson of the Tulsa Metropolitan Baptist Church pastor. Early in life, he organized rallies demanding black studies courses at school and marched for civil rights.

He taught at Harvard, Princeton, Yale, Union Theological Seminary, and Paris University. Race Matters and Democracy Matters were among his essays and publications. He has featured as a scholar on several documentaries and talk shows, worked on The Matrix film series, and co-hosted Smiley and West with Tavis Smiley and The Tight Rope with Tricia Rose.

About Leslie Kotkin

Real NameCornel Ronald West
Age70 years old
Birth PlaceTulsa, Oklahoma, United States of America
Sexual OrientationStraight
Height1.88 m
Weight75 kg
WifeAnnahita Mahdavi (m. 2021)

Leslie Kotkin (m. 2015–2018)

Ramona Santiago (m. 1981–1986)

ProfessionPhilosopher, political activist, social critic, actor
Salary$32,000/ month

Preschool and Childhood

Leslie Kotkin

Cornel Ronald West was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on June 2, 1953, to elementary school teacher and principal Irene and Department of Defense general contractor Clifton Louis West Jr. He attended John F. Kennedy High School in Sacramento, California, when his family moved to an African-American working-class neighborhood. After graduating in 1970, he attended Harvard College and earned a magna cum laude in Near Eastern languages and civilizations in 1973. He earned his PhD in philosophy from Princeton University in 1980, becoming the first African-American to do so.

Academic Career

Leslie Kotkin

In 1977–83 and 1988, Cornel West was an assistant professor of philosophy of religion at Union Theological Seminary. He transferred to Yale Divinity School in New Haven, Connecticut, in 1984 and participated in campus rallies for clerical unionism and Yale’s interests in apartheid South Africa. The University of Paris cancelled his leave in spring 1987 after he was imprisoned for protesting, forcing him to commute for his three prescheduled courses. He directed the Princeton University Program in African-American Studies and taught religion from 1988 to 1994.

He taught nearly 500 students in his popular African-American studies course at Harvard University in 1994. He was concurrently appointed to Harvard Divinity School and became Harvard’s first Alphonse Fletcher University Professor in 1998. After a public confrontation with then-President Lawrence Summers, he left Harvard in 2002 and returned to Princeton, where he helped build a world-class African-American studies center.

He returned to Union Theological Seminary in 2012 but still teaches occasionally at Princeton as Professor Emeritus. In November 2016, he was appointed to a non-tenured position at Harvard Divinity School and the Harvard Department of African and African-American Studies. West, who has written over 20 books, has an ‘American Book Award’ and several honorary degrees.

The net worth

Philosopher, political activist, social critic, novelist, and public intellectual West has an estimated $500 million in net worth.

Cornel West Ed

Leslie Kotkin

John F. Kennedy High School graduated him. After graduating high school, he studied philosophy under Robert Nozick and Stanley Cavell at Harvard College in 1970. West graduated from Harvard Magna Cum Laude in 1973 with a degree in Near Eastern languages and culture. After graduating from Harvard, West received a PhD in philosophy from Princeton University in 1980, becoming the first African American to do so.

Entertainment Career

Cornel West voiced Councilor West in Enter the Matrix and The Matrix Revolutions. He and integral thinker Ken Wilber provided supplementary commentary on all three Matrix films in The Ultimate Matrix Collection. In Examined Life and Still Bill, he was one of several academics discussing philosophy in real-world circumstances. His political show Real Time with Bill Maher and 30 Rock guest appearances are common.

Major Works

Race Matters, a 1993 social sciences book of eight articles on moral authority and skin color controversies, is Cornel West’s most famous work. Ethical Dimensions of Marxist Thought (1991), Democracy Matters (2004), Brother West: Living and Loving Out Loud (2009), and Black Prophetic Fire (2014) are his other books.

Family and personal life

Leslie Kotkin

Cornel West married Hilda Holloman (1977–), Ramona Santiago (1981–86), Elleni Gebre Amlak (1992–), and Leslie Kotkin (2016–18). He has two children: son Clifton from his first marriage and daughter Dilan Zeytun West, born in 2000, from his fourth wife, a Jewish dentist with whom he had a “love relationship” at the time. He had surgery for late-stage prostate cancer in 2000. According to a 2012 New York Magazine story, West lives alone and is closest to his mother, older brother Clifton, and business manager and publicist Tavis Smiley.

Cornel West, Obama

West has also discussed how a lack of black leadership makes black communities doubt their political power to change. In 2008, Cornel West openly endorsed Democratic presidential nominee Senator Barack Obama. West said in an April 2011 interview that Obama is the black mascot of Wall Street billionaires and the black muppet of corporate plutocrats, dropping his support for him.

Now he’s proud of the American killing machine. West called Obama a Rockefeller Republican in blackface in a November 2012 interview. West went on a “Poverty Tour” with Smiley & West co-host Tavis Smiley in 2011. The tour’s claimed goal was to expose the condition of the underprivileged before the 2012 presidential election, which West and Smiley said disregarded them. West called Obama’s speech inconsistent and attractive words that hide horrible acts during the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s I Have a Dream address in 2013.

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