How the Show Functions Jr. Henry Louis Gates Many other genealogists have not worked on Finding Your Roots but are quite competent and can assist you in learning more about your family history in the same manner that the show's guests do. To summarize, you are unlikely to be able to hire Henry Louis Gates Jr. as an employee of the company that produces Finding Your Roots.
Gates has said on several occasions that he does not want to be paid for appearing on the show. Instead, he states that he hopes that by bringing attention to his family history project, it will increase the interest of readers who may be able to help him with it.
In addition to writing books and magazine articles, Gates is also a professor of black studies at Harvard University. He has won numerous awards for his work including the Littauer Prize from Columbia University.
Can I hire Henry Louis Gates Jr? The answer is no. However, if you know someone who appears on the show or has done research into their family history, then they might be willing to help you out for free.
The show is hosted by Henry Louis Gates Jr., although from what I gather, he does not conduct his own research into the guests' family history. To be clear, I do not work for Finding Your Roots; I am just a professional genealogist who knows people who have worked on the show and was there during an episode's production. I believe the last time someone conducted their own research on the show was in 2007.
Gates spends most of his time talking with the guests and asking questions about themselves. He also writes some short articles based on what he learns from them. These articles are posted online at findingroots.com after they air so that people can see how much information Gates has been able to uncover about his guests' families.
Gates admits that he doesn't know much about many people when they first start out on the show because he wants to ask them questions that only they could answer. As interviews continue over several episodes, though, he says things like "I've learned X about your family" or "It looks like you were right about Y." Based on this evidence, it seems as if Gates is doing some research into his guests' family histories after all!
Gates is a graduate of Harvard University and Stanford Law School. After working as an attorney for several years, he left the practice of law to pursue his passion for history and archaeology. In 2000, he founded Finding Your Roots with his wife, author and musician Rebecca Carroll Gates.
His father, Henry Louis Gates Sr., was so fair-skinned that he could pass for white. But the old Gates could only support their wife and two boys in Piedmont by doing two jobs: loading trucks at the paper mill and working nights as a phone company janitor.
Gates Jr. was born on February 5, 1944. His mother, Vanessa Gail Taylor, was black. His father's family had been free before the onset of slavery, so they got their money from someone who was not black - namely, white people. The old gates' job security depended on Wall Street being open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If the paper mill closed down or if there were any other reason to believe that they might lose their job, then the old Gates would have to find something else to do.
When Gates Jr. was five years old, his father lost his job at the paper mill because the company made too much profit even though many employees were still unemployed after World War II. So the family moved in with Vanessa's parents, who were very poor but didn't work because they got welfare. They lived in an overcrowded house with 10 other people.
Gates Jr. attended a segregated school where the majority of students were white. He did not learn to read until he was eight years old due to problems with his vision. He always knew how to write his name though.