Source: Instagram/officialshannonamos

John Amos Married His First Wife Noel J Mickelson Amid Interracial Marriage Ban and Fathered 2 Children — Inside Their Touching Story

Oyin Balogun
Aug 06, 2021
01:05 P.M.
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John Amos and Noel J Mickelson got married at the time interracial marriages were banned. They went on to welcome two lovely kids — get acquainted with their romantic story.


John Amos's acting prowess is widely recognized across the country, and for a good reason; he has an extensive list of credits under his belt, including for his performances on franchises such as "Good Times," "Roots," and "Coming to America."

He has maintained a constant presence in the Hollywood scene for more than five decades, but in all those years, the talented actor has kept his private life as far away from the public eye as much as he can.

John Amos at the Chiller Theatre Expo on April 26, 2013 in Parsippany, New Jersey | Photo: Getty Images


Because of this, not much is known of his personal life. John has been married two times, but it was his first marriage that gave him two children.

But, like his relationships, he kept them away from the spotlight for most of their lives. They are older now and have been sharing more about their family with the media and consequently fans of their family.

John Amos and daughter Shannon at Cure Autism Now Celebrates Third Annual "Acts of Love" - in Los Angeles, California | Photo: Getty Images



Noel J. Mickelson was John's first wife and the mother of his only two children, Shannon and K.C Amos. Mickelson was a famous equestrian, architect, environmentalist, and artist who harbored deep love and respect for nature.

Shannon has credited the late woman with instilling in herself and K.C. the ability to express themselves through creativity. Noel passed away in December 2016, surrounded by her family.

In her last moments, Noel expressed regret that she could not travel to see the world, so Shannon vowed to take her ashes around the world to fulfill the last wish. She started in January 2017.



According to Shannon, John and Noel's story began in college. John was playing football while studying sociology at Colorado State University when he met her, and it was basically love at first sight.

Shannon and K.C enjoy a strong bond with John and consider him one of their biggest inspirations.


The two had many differences; they were from different countries; she was an Ashkenazi Jew and a descendant of Eastern Europe, and his ancestors were Ghanaian.

Despite their differences, there were sparks between them, and slowly it became an ember that burned brightly. So brightly that it took away their inhibitions about race but not society's.

Moreover, they lived in a time when the civil rights movement was at its strongest; black folk was shaking off the shackles of slavery as they fought against segregation and institutionalized racial discrimination in the country.


By 1965, interracial marriage had been made illegal in about 16 states; however, the two lovebirds went right ahead to get married. Whether their respective families had a say in the matter remains under speculation.

Their boldness was rewarded in 1967 when the Supreme Court of the United States overturned legislation barring interracial marriage, essentially making John and Mickelson's wedding legal all over the country.



John and Noel welcomed their first child, daughter Shannon, a year before being officially recognized as a legal couple. She works mostly behind the cameras and has also worked as a writer and producer for media giants like BET and MTV.

Shannon received a sibling when her parents gave birth to her son Kelly Christopher in 1970. He is a director, producer, and video editor. He has worked on films such as "The Watermelon Heist," "Tamales and Gumbo," and "Hauntsville."


John and Noel did their best to raise the children in a bubble that racism could not penetrate, but the corrupted society quickly caught up with them.

Shannon once revealed in an Instagram post that her family faced down an armed racist who had a gun leveled at her father. It was her first experience with reality, and it had her parents explaining it to her.


John and Noel's union divorced in 1975— he would get fired a year later when the constant friction between him and the writers of "Good Times" resulted in his character being killed off and him being dismissed.

Shannon and K.C enjoy a strong bond with John and consider him one of their biggest inspirations. Of course, they are fully aware of the fact that he is practically a national treasure for blacks, but they can't bring themselves to see him as more than just "pops."


John found love again in actress Lillian Lehman. They tied the knot in 1978, but their union didn't bear kids, and it only lasted 19 months. He has been single ever since — at least as far as the public knows.