Zulme MacNeal is known around the world as the wife of the famous singer & dancer, Cab Calloway.

Zulme MacNeal’s Family

Zulme “Nuffie” MacNeal was born on 24th August 1915 and was the youngest of six siblings. Her mother Isabella Wickham was a schoolteacher and her father Wendell Phillip MacNeal was an accomplished musician and music teacher. Zulme grew up surrounded by musicians, educators, and the culture of New Orleans. Her family lived in the Tremé neighborhood, four blocks from Congo Square.

Zulme moved to Chicago in 4th grade where she excelled in academics. After high school, she worked as a paralegal and secretary before moving to Washington, DC to study sociology at Howard University. Working for the Works Progress Administration and then for the Race relations Department of the Federal Housing Authority, Zulme first met Cab Calloway before a show in Washington, DC.

Cabell Calloway III was born in Rochester, New York, on December 25, 1907, to an African American family. His mother, Martha Eulalia Reed, was a Morgan State College graduate, teacher, and church organist. His father, Cabell Calloway Jr., worked as a lawyer in real estate. The family moved to Baltimore, Maryland, when Cab was 11. Soon after, his father died and his mother remarried John Nelson Fortune.

Cab married Zulme on October 7, 1949. They had 3 daughters: Chris Calloway, Cecilia “Lael” Eulalia Calloway, and Cabella Calloway. Cab also had a daughter named Camay with Zelma Proctor, a fellow student. In the 1950s, Cab moved his family to Westchester County, New York, where he and Zulme raised their daughters. Cab’s first marriage was to Wenonah “Betty” Conacher. They adopted a daughter named Constance and divorced in 1949. On June 12, 1994, Cab suffered a stroke at his home in Westchester County, New York. He died five months later from pneumonia on November 18, 1994. His wife, Zulme, passed away on 13th Oct 2008 at the age of 93.

Zulme MacNeal’s Net Worth

Despite being well-known for being Cab Calloway’s wife, Zulme MacNeal accomplished a lot more. She was a Public Servant and was dedicated to raising awareness for African American children and orphans. She was involved with various charities and community service organizations including the YWCA, and The Urban League. In 1980, she received the Woman of the Year honor. In 1994, she helped to establish the Cab Calloway Foundation with a dual mission of sponsoring arts and education programs and preserving and celebrating the legend, life, and legacy of Cab Calloway.

Her husband, Cab Calloway was an iconic singer, songwriter, bandleader, conductor, and dancer. His niche of mixing jazz and vaudeville won him acclaim during a career that spanned over 65 years. He received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2008 & his song “Minnie the Moocher” was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999. Cab & Zulme has a combined net worth of $40 million at the time of their death.