Who is Jacqueline Avant? How Did She Die?

Image Credit: The Black Godfather, Clarence Avant/ Netflix

Netflix’s ‘Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story’ follows the life and romance of the eponymous queen. The show builds upon the characters and their backstories mentioned in ‘Bridgerton.’ It shines a spotlight on the love story of Queen Charlotte and King George III while also highlighting his mental illness, which claimed him entirely in his old age. As a young and impressionable girl in England, Charlotte’s life goes through many upheavals, and she learns quite a few lessons before coming into her own and becoming the queen she was always meant to be.

Charlotte evolves into a force to be reckoned with, whom everyone looks up to. She is revered and loved by everyone and is always held in the highest regard due to the strength and excellence of her character. The first episode of the show pays tribute to some like this. It is dedicated to the memory of Jacqueline Avant. Who was she, and how did she die? Let’s find out.

Jacqueline Avant: The Philanthropic Powerhouse

The wife of Clarence Avant, the music mogul called “the black godfather,” Jacqueline Avant was a woman of many talents and a person loved and respected by all. She was born in Jamaica, Queens, N.Y., and studied to be a phlebotomist. She worked as a model before meeting Clarence, whom she married in 1967. The same year, the couple moved to Beverly Hills. Jacqueline spent the next fifty years of her life here. She made a name for herself as a philanthropist, promoter of arts, and dedicated to helping the marginalized sections of society.

She was the president of Neighbour of Watts and supported the South Central Community Child Care Centre. She was on the board of directors at UCLA’s International Student Center and co-founded its Rape Treatment Center board. She supported the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts and served on boards for the Pacific Asia Museum in Pasadena and LACMA’s East Asian Art Council. She also served as a two-term board president of the Museum of African American Art of Los Angeles.

Fondly remembered by the people whose lives she touched, Jacqueline was known to have hosted high-profile figures like the President of Tanzania, President Bill Clinton, and Senator Ted Kennedy, among others. Oprah Winfrey remembers her as someone whose “motivation was just to give what she had.” “I certainly felt that with myself and in all the work that she did in her charitable giving. It’s what she knew, what she had been exposed to and aspired to. That’s what she was willing to offer to other people,” Winfrey said.

Referring to her as “the matriarch of the community,” Pharrell Williams said: “While I was not born and raised in LA when I say ‘our community,’ I mean amongst Black people. But all other communities looked at her as a shining, living example of elegance. Someone beyond everything that they had accumulated whose wealth was experience.”

Fatal Shooting: The Tragic End of Jacqueline Avant

Jacqueline Avant died on December 1, 2021, at the age of 81. She was shot three times by an intruder who broke into her Beverly Hills home in the early hours of the day by breaking a sliding glass door. She was taken to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, where she died. She is survived by her husband, their two children— Nicole and Alexander, her sister Jean Morse and her nieces and nephews.

The man who shot and killed her was captured on December 3 in the backyard of a Hollywood Hills home. He’d been trying to break into the house but accidentally shot himself. He pleaded guilty to first-degree murder, attempted murder, possession of a firearm by a felon, and two counts of first-degree residential burglary with a person present. He was sentenced to 190 years to life in prison, with no possibility of parole.

Jacqueline’s family and friends have kept her in their hearts and minds. In 2023, her family opened the Jacqueline Avant Children and Family Center at the MLK Medical Campus in the Watts-Willowbrook community. “Jacqueline was an amazing woman — a wife, mother, philanthropist, and a 55-year resident of Beverly Hills who has made an immeasurable positive contribution and impact on the arts community. She will be missed by her family, friends, and all the people she has helped throughout her amazing life,” her family said.

Read More: Who is Queen Charlotte in Bridgerton? Was She a Real Queen?