Ronda Rousey’s great grandfather was one of the first black physicians in North America.
The UFC fighter’s mother revealed the little-known fact to a TMZ cameraman this week. Rousey’s great grandfather was Dr. Alfred Waddell. According to a film about Waddell, the Trinidadian born doctor emigrated to Halifax, Canada and began providing medical services to those in dire need of care:
In 1928 Alfred left his family to study medicine at Dalhousie’s medical school in Halifax. Amelia Maria finally joined him with their 4 children. Graduating in 1933, he faced the suspicions of Halifax’s white and black communities who regarded him as an “outsider.” His practice took off slowly. Members of the Chinese community were among his first clients.
Despite his own hardships, Waddell treated many isolated people who had no access to medical care. Waddell brought medicine to far flung black communities; spoke out against injustice; and even billeted black musicians like Cab Calloway, when he could not get a hotel room. A champion of social equality, Dr. Waddell raised his children with ideas of fairness and earned the respect of an entire city.
Rousey was in Los Angeles spending time with her mother and sister.