Kobe Bean Bryant (1978 - 2020)

A photo of Kobe Bean Bryant
Kobe Bean Bryant
1978 - 2020
August 23, 1978
Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania United States
January 26, 2020
Calabasas, Los Angeles County, California United States
Other Names
Black Mamba; his nickname as a NBA Player
Kobe Bean Bryant was born on August 23, 1978 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania United States. He is the child of Joe Bryant and Pamela (Cox) Bryant. According to his family tree, Kobe was father to 4 children. He married Vanessa (Laine) Bryant on April 18, 2001 in Dana Point, California United States. They were married until Kobe's death in 2020. They had children Gianna Maria-Onore Bryant, Natalia Bryant, Bianka Bella Bryant, and Capri Kobe Bryant. He died on January 26, 2020 in Calabasas, California United States at 41 years old.
Updated: May 13, 2022
A professional basketball player, Kobe played his entire career for the LA Lakers. He began his pro career in 1996 and retired in 2016. He was the father of 4 daughters, one of whom, Gianna Marie-Onore Bryant (2006 - 2020) died with him in a chartered plane crash. His wife, Vanessa, 3 of his daughters (Natalia, Bianka, Capri) and his parents survived him. He was known to have said "Everything negative - pressure, challenges - is all an opportunity for me to rise." Scroll down to read an extensive biography of his life.
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Kobe Bean Bryant
Most commonly known as
Kobe Bean Bryant
Full name
Black Mamba; his nickname as a NBA Player
Other names or aliases
Unknown. Did Kobe move a lot? Where was his last known location?
Last known residence
Kobe Bryant was born on in Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania United States
Kobe Bryant died on in Calabasas, Los Angeles County, California United States
Helicopter crash - his 13 yr old daughter also died in the crash.
Cause of death
Pacific View Memorial Park & Mortuary 3500 Pacific View Drive, in Newport Beach, Orange County, California United States 92625
Burial / Funeral

Ethnicity & Lineage

African American

Nationality & Locations

United States


Lower Merion high school (Instead of attending college, he decided to go straight to pro basketball out of high school, while still 17 yrs old)


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Kobe played his entire pro-basketball career for the LA Lakers.

Personal Life

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Military Service

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Obituary From The Guardian Jan 27 2020

Kobe Bryant, who has died aged 41 in a helicopter crash, was a basketball phenomenon – a transcendent, if enigmatic, superstar whose rare talent bridged the gap between Michael Jordan and LeBron James in America’s National Basketball Association (NBA) and in the global sport basketball has become. Bryant had retired only three years before his death, after a 20-year career in the NBA, all of it with the league’s most glamorous team, the Los Angeles Lakers, with whom he signed his first contract when he was only 17. Five NBA championships and one Most Valuable Player (MVP) award later, he retired with the third-highest total of points in league history, 33,643, the youngest player to cross that 30,000 barrier; his total was overtaken by James on the day before Bryant died. Bryant grew up on basketball. His father, Joe “Jellybean” Bryant, played at La Salle University in Philadelphia, and then for the first half of an eight-year NBA career for the Philadelphia 76ers. His mother, Pamela, was the sister of Chubby Cox, another local star who played collegiately at Villanova University in Philadelphia. After the NBA Joe played another eight years in Europe, seven of them in Italy, and though Kobe was born in Philadelphia, he spent much of his childhood in Italy, adopting Milan as his favourite football team. His name came from the Japanese steak his parents saw on a menu; his middle name, Bean, came from his father. Kobe returned home to play basketball at Lower Merion high school in suburban Philadelphia. By his third year he was the target of college recruiters and was scrimmaging – taking part in practice games – against the 76ers’ players. Although he could have had his pick of universities, after a senior year when he led Lower Merion to a state championship, averaging 31 points per game, he decided to forgo college and enter the NBA draft. It was a gamble; Kevin Garnett had made the move successfully the year before, but he was the first high-schooler drafted in 20 years, and was a big man, as the others had been. At 6ft 6in Bryant was very much a shooting guard, though tall for that position. Whether he was physically mature enough to take the demands of an 82-game season against grown men was a more pressing consideration than whether he was emotionally mature enough to handle it. In the end, the North Carolina side Charlotte Hornets took him as part of a pre-arranged deal by which they traded him to the Lakers for the centre Vlade Divac. As he was not yet 18, Bryant’s parents signed his contract. He joined the Lakers at a time when they had also acquired the league’s top star, the 7ft 1in centre Shaquille O’Neal. Bryant did not move into the starting lineup until his third season, but for the 1999-2000 campaign the Lakers general manager, Jerry West, hired Phil Jackson, who had coached Jordan’s Chicago Bulls to massive success, and he assembled a team of canny veteran players based around Bryant and O’Neal, who shared the scoring limelight. The result was three consecutive titles – in 2000, 2001 and 2002 – and superstar status for both Bryant and O’Neal. The two had disparate personalities: “when you ask Shaq to do something he says no, sulks, and does it,” said Jackson. “Kobe says OK, then does what he wants.” In 2001, aged 22, Bryant married 18-year-old Vanessa Laine, whom he had met when she was dancing in a music video. Two years later he was accused of sexual assault by a woman who worked at the resort where he stayed before having post-season knee surgery. In the end his accuser declined to press charges and Bryant settled a civil lawsuit out of court. After a 2004 season that saw the Lakers add two more stars, Karl Malone and Gary Payton, but fall in the finals to Detroit Pistons, Jackson was let go and O’Neal traded away. The Lakers were now firmly Kobe’s team, but after one disastrous year in which coach Rudy Tomjanovich quit in mid-season, Jackson returned. The Lakers improved slowly, though in 2006 Kobe scored 81 points in a game against Toronto Raptors, the most anyone had scored since Wilt Chamberlain’s 100 in 1962. They lost to arch rivals Boston Celtics in the 2008 final, after a season in which Kobe won the league’s MVP trophy. The next two years saw Kobe’s fourth and fifth NBA titles; in 2010 the Lakers defeated Boston in the final game of a seven game series. Outside the US, Bryant’s profile was further lifted by his performance in the 2008 Beijing Olympics; he was at his peak and turned in a spectacular showing against the hosts, China, plus a brilliant fourth-quarter burst that led the USA to the gold medal over Spain in the final, cementing his status as an international star. By the time of the London games in 2012, however, it was James who sparked another American gold medal win in the final minutes, also against Spain. The contrast between Bryant and James was telling: James went on to auction his services between teams, famously going to Miami after organising his own “dream team” there, while Bryant stayed put in Los Angeles to build his Laker legacy, though after 2010 he would win no more titles. He was remarkably durable, playing through injuries until a ruptured achilles sidelined him in 2013. The knock-on effects of that condition slowed him down for his final three seasons and eventually he announced, with a poem called Dear Basketball, that the 2015-16 season would be his last. That swansong was his 20th with the Lakers, breaking John Stockton’s record of 19 years with one team (Utah Jazz). Bryant was voted on to the All-NBA Team of the best players for each season no fewer than 11 times, and played in 18 All-Star games. After his playing days he looked after his substantial business interests and led many charitable activities, including a fund for young people in China. He wrote and narrated an adaptation of Dear Basketball for a short animated film which won an Academy Award in 2018. And he returned frequently to Lakers’ games, recently with his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, a promising young player herself. He was flying with Gianna and others to a youth game, to be played at his own sports centre, when the helicopter in which they were flying crashed in the hills near Calabasas in California, killing everyone on board. Former president Barack Obama expressed a nation’s shock, noting that Bryant “was a legend on the court and just getting started in what would have been just as meaningful a second act”. He is survived by Vanessa, by their daughters Natalia, Bianka and Capri and by his parents.
Kathy Pinna
Kathy Pinna shared
on Dec 06, 2020 6:38 PM

Family Tree

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Kobe's Family Tree

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Vanessa (Laine) Bryant


Kobe Bean Bryant

Married: April 18, 2001 - January 26, 2020
Cause of Separation: Kobe's Death
Married at: Dana Point, Orange County, California United States
Kobe Bean Bryant Kobe Bean Bryant


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Kobe Bean Bryant, father to 4 children, died on January 26, 2020 in Calabasas, California United States at 41 years old. He was buried in Pacific View Memorial Park & Mortuary, Newport Beach, California United States. Kobe was born on August 23, 1978 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania United States. He is the child of Joe Bryant and Pamela (Cox) Bryant. According to his family tree, he married Vanessa (Laine) Bryant on April 18, 2001 in Dana Point, California United States. They were married until Kobe's death in 2020. They had children Gianna Maria-Onore Bryant, Natalia Bryant, Bianka Bella Bryant, and Capri Kobe Bryant.

1978 - 2020 World Events

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In 1978, in the year that Kobe Bean Bryant was born, on November 18th, Jim Jones's Peoples Temple followers committed mass suicide in Jonestown, Guyana - where they had moved, from San Francisco, as a group. Jones was the leader of the cult and ordered his followers to drink cyanide-laced punch, which they did. Whole families (women and children included) died - more than 900 people in all.

In 1986, he was merely 8 years old when on September 8th, the Oprah Winfrey Show went into national syndication. A popular talk show, it was number 1 in the ratings since its debut. The last show aired on May 25, 2011.

In 1990, Kobe was only 12 years old when after 27 years in prison, Nelson Mandela, the leader of the movement to end South African apartheid was released on February 11th 1990.

In 1992, at the age of just 14 years old, Kobe was alive when on February 1st, US President George Bush and President Boris Yeltsin of Russia jointly announced an end to the Cold War, proclaiming a new era of "friendship and partnership". At Camp David in Maryland, they reviewed ways to jointly reduce nuclear arms and support reforms in Russia but no agreement was reached at that meeting.

In 1994, at the age of 16 years old, Kobe was alive when on May 6th, former political prisoner, lawyer, and activist Nelson Mandela was elected the first black President of South Africa. He was 75 when he was elected and he served one five-year term.

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