Berry Gordy, Jr. (born November 28, 1929) is an American record producer, and the founder of the Motown record label, as well as its many subsidiaries.
Berry Gordy, Jr. (born in Detroit, Michigan) was the seventh of eight children born to the middle class family of Berry Gordy II (a.k.a. Berry Gordy, Sr.) and Bertha Fuller Gordy (1887-1981), who had relocated to Detroit from Milledgeville, Georgia in 1922. Gordy was brought up in a tight-knit family with strong morals. Berry Gordy II (1888–1978) was the son of Berry Gordy I and a woman named Lucy. Berry Gordy I was the son of James Thomas Gordy, a white farmer, and a female slave in Georgia. Berry Gordy is distantly related to former president Jimmy Carter through Carter's mother, Bessie Lillian Gordy.
Berry Gordy II was lured to Detroit by the many job opportunities for black people offered by booming automotive businesses.
Berry Gordy, Jr's older siblings were all prominent black citizens of Detroit. Berry, however, dropped out of high school in the eleventh grade to become a professional boxer in hopes of becoming rich quick, a career he followed until 1950 when he was drafted by the United States Army for the Korean War.