The Root‘s editor-in-chief, Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr., launched a PBS show in 2010 that builds on the success of his African-American Lives, a series that traced the ancestry of famous black Americans. Faces of America, uses the same potent combination of traditional genealogical research and advanced DNA techniques to explore the immigrant origins of 12 famous Americans.
Those who appear on the four-part program include chef Mario Batali, comedian Stephen Colbert, novelist Louise Erdrich, journalist Malcolm Gladwell, actress Eva Longoria, musician Yo-Yo Ma, director Mike Nichols, Her Majesty Queen Noor, television host/heart surgeon Dr. Mehmet Oz, actress Meryl Streep, and figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi.
Here’s a clip from Gates’ interview with writer Malcolm Gladwell.
To get advice for exploring your family tree, check out our Roots section.