What Is Kobe Bryant’s Widow Vanessa Bryant’s Ethnicity?

The world really got to know Vanessa Bryant after the tragic deaths of her husband, Kobe Bryant, and daughter, Gianna (Gigi) Bryant. Although she was married to one of the most famous basketball stars ever, Vanessa wasn’t in the limelight all that much. Her Instagram had been private and she seemed content with Kobe having the spotlight and fanfare.

Vanessa’s world though was turned upside down on Jan. 26, 2020, when Kobe and her 13-year-old daughter were among the nine victims killed in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California.

Kobe Bryant and Vanessa Bryant
Kobe Bryant and Vanessa Bryant | Donato Sardella/Getty Images for EIF

Since that fateful day, Vanessa has decided to share more of her life by making her social media account public. She has posted tributes and photos of Kobe and Gigi as well as pics of her other three daughters. And fans have enjoyed getting to know more about the woman who has shown so much strength after having to deal with an unimaginable tragedy.

Here’s a bit more about Vanessa, plus the post she put out just hours before the one-year anniversary of Kobe and Gigi’s death.

Vanessa Bryant’s age and ethnicity

The former Los Angeles Lakers star’s widow was born Vanessa Urbieta Cornejo on May 5, 1982. According to Hola! she is of Mexican, Irish, English, and German descent. 

Vanessa met her future husband when she was 17. Kobe’s parents, Joe and Pamela Bryant, didn’t approve of the relationship because of how young they both were and because Vanessa wasn’t African American. The couple married in April 2001 when Vanessa was 18. Kobe’s mother and father warmed up to Vanessa after she gave the birth of their first granddaughter, Natalia, two years later.

Vanessa Bryant
Vanessa Bryant | James Devaney/GC Images

Vanessa is fluent in Spanish and has taught her daughters the language too. Kobe could speak it as well and often did to his wife and children. He affectionately called his girls the Mambacitas, which comes from his nickname the Black Mamba.

RELATED: Kobe Bryant’s Former Teammate Pau Gasol Honors Late NBA Star’s Family With Special Tribute After Daughter’s Birth

Vanessa shares letter on 1-year anniversary of Kobe and Gianna’s deaths

Just hours before the one-year anniversary of Kobe and Gigi’s death, Vanessa took to Instagram and shared a heartfelt letter she received from her late daughter’s close friend.

She captioned it: “Today I received this sweet letter from one of Gianna’s best friends, Aubrey. Thank you so much for beautifully sharing some of your memories of my Gigi with me and allowing me to share them here on my IG.”

Vanessa Bryant
Vanessa Bryant | Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images

“My Gigi is INCREDIBLE and I truly appreciate your thoughtful letter. She loves you so much. I miss my baby girl and Kob-Kob so much, too. I will never understand why/how this tragedy could’ve happened to such beautiful, kind and amazing human beings. It still doesn’t seem real. Kob, we did it right. Gigi, you still make mommy proud. I love you!”

Vanessa concluded the post with the hashtags: “#PlayGigisWay,”  “#Mambacita,”  “#Mamba,”  “#DaddysGirl” and “#GirlDad.”