Little Richard’s ex-wife Ernestine Campbell Biography: Age, Net Worth, Son, Family, Still Alive?

Posted By Abigail Anderson


Ernestine Campbell (born October 31, 1935) is a celebrated former American secretary from Washington, D.C. She gained recognition as a prominent former celebrity wife in the United States. 

Ernestine Campbell‘s claim to fame stems from her previous marriage to Richard Wayne Penniman, more commonly known as Little Richard, who was renowned for his contributions as a singer, songwriter, and trailblazer of rock n’ roll music.

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Ernestine Campbell: History ‧ Bio ‧ Photo
Wiki Facts & About Data
Full Name: Ernestine Taylor Campbell
Born: 31 October 1935 (age 88 years old)
Place of Birth: United States
Nationality: American
Education: N/A
Height: 1.67 m
Parents: N/A
Siblings: N/A
Spouse: Little Richard (m. 1959–1963), McDonald Campbell (m. 1975)
Boyfriend • Partner: N/A
Children: Danny Jones Penniman
Occupation: Secretary
Net Worth: $1 million

Early Life & Education

Ernestine Campbell, an American citizen, was born on October 31, 1935, in the United States. Growing up under the care and guidance of her parents, she had the privilege of cherishing her childhood alongside her beloved siblings. Unfortunately, comprehensive details regarding her early life are scarce.

Her academic journey is one aspect of Ernestine Campbell‘s life that has remained mysterious. While it is acknowledged that she completed college, the specific course of study she pursued and the academic institutions she attended have never been revealed or made public. 

This intriguing omission leaves us wondering about Ernestine‘s educational path and the knowledge and skills she obtained during her time in higher education. It’s worth noting that she is still alive.


Ernestine Campbell, who used to work as a secretary in Washington, DC, had a professional career that is not further specified. In contrast, her husband, Little Richard, was a highly acclaimed American singer and songwriter known by his full name, Richard Wayne PennimanRichard significantly impacted the music industry for over seven decades through his remarkable talent and contributions.

It is important to note that the foundation for the iconic genre of rock and roll was primarily established by none other than her husband, who was known for his electrifying and captivating stage presence. Additionally, it is noteworthy that Richard‘s contributions to music were recognized in both 1986 and 2007 when she was inducted into the prestigious Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. 

It is interesting to highlight that her ex-husband’s career took off when he signed with Specialty Records in 1955 under the guidance of producer Art Rupe, who was specifically looking for a dynamic piano player from New Orleans to front a group of talented singers. Subsequently, in September, Ernestine Campbell‘s ex-husband entered the recording studio.

Social Media

Ernestine Campbell was on many social media platforms.

Personal Life

In 1959, Ernestine Campbell and Little Richard married on July 11 in California. Their love story began in 1957 when they first met and quickly started dating. Following their marriage, the couple adopted a child named Danny Jones Penniman, who was previously associated with their church. However, when Danny was merely one year old, Ernestine and her then-husband decided to adopt him instead.

Ernestine Campbell had a close relationship with Little Richard, as she was his wife and served as his bodyguard. However, their marital bliss ended in 1964 when they decided to get a divorce. It is believed that the main reason behind their separation was the immense pressure and difficulties Ernestine faced in maintaining her husband’s celebrity status. 

Despite their split, Ernestine Campbell and Richard ended their nearly five-year marriage on amicable terms, showcasing their mutual understanding. The two remained friends and maintained a cordial relationship even after their divorce.

After her divorce from a rock and roll star, Ernestine Campbell embraced the single life for 11 years. However, in 1975, she decided to give love another shot and married McDonald Campbell. Their wedding ceremony, which took place on March 23, was held in the beautiful city of Santa Barbara. 

In contrast, Ernestine‘s ex-husband, Richard, remained single until his death, although he did have a romantic relationship with musician Lee Angel (also known as Audrey Robinson).

Net Worth

Ernestine Campbell accumulated an estimated net worth of $1 million. Additionally, details about her salary, brand endorsements, asset values, and possessions such as cars or jeeps remain undisclosed.

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