Gooding was born on January 2, 1968, in the Bronx, New York City. His mother, Shirley Sullivan, is a singer, and his father, Cuba Gooding Sr., was the lead vocalist of soul group The Main Ingredient. Gooding has three siblings: April, Omar, and Thomas. His paternal grandfather, Dudley MacDonald Gooding, was a native of Barbados. His family moved to Los Angeles in 1972 after his father’s music group had their hit single “Everybody Plays the Fool”; two years later, the elder Gooding left the family. Gooding himself was raised by his mother and attended four different high schools: North Hollywood High School, Tustin High School, Apple Valley High School, and John F. Kennedy High School in Granada Hills in Los Angeles. He served as class president in three of them. He became a born-again Christian at the age of 13.
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