Dead Man’s Daughter Explains His “Jewboy” Obituary

"The name had to do with black curly hair," she says.

Last week, we told you that the Inquirer and Daily News apologized for the obituary that appeared in their pages for John “Jewboy” McGee. A lot of readers wanted to know the origin of the nickname, and over the weekend, McGee’s daughter reached out to us to explain.

Here’s what she had to say via email:

It came from his father when he was born. My father is one of thirteen. When my father was born, he was the first one to have black curly hair. All his siblings before had red hair. [His dad] thought he resembled a Jewish family’s kid with the black curly hair. Yes, that does sound stereotyping, but it was 77 years ago and was not derogatory toward anyone.

I believe they were friends with a family of the Jewish faith, and he resembled their kids. They were OK with this.

His father died at a young age. This was a memory with his father and a name from his father. Every one of his friends knew him by this name. When people said “John McGee,” they then said “Who, Jewboy?”

This name had to do with black curly hair. Not hatred for anyone.

The things people are saying are extremely hurtful to our father’s memory. We know the man he was.

And in another message:

He was truly a great caring man and it hurts his grandchildren to have to read these negative comments from people who do not know him. I understand people find this name offensive in the world today. Everything needs to be politically correct. But all these assumptions of the meaning behind his name is wrong. Maybe one day someone could ask his kids before you question a name in an article and have the public make assumptions.

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