Stephen Colbert’s Siblings: How 10 Siblings Shaped Stephen’s Life

Stephen Colbert is one of the most popular and influential comedians in the world.

He is best known for his satirical and witty commentary on politics, culture, and current events on his late-night talk show, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.

A picture of Stephen Colbert | Photo courtesy: People
The Colbert clan is a large and diverse family | Photo courtesy: People

But did you know that he is also the youngest of 11 children? That’s right, Stephen has 10 older siblings who have their own stories and achievements.

In this article, we will introduce you to the Colbert clan and rank them from oldest to youngest.

James Colbert III

James is the oldest Colbert sibling and the only one whose personal and professional information is unknown.

He was named after his father, James William Colbert Jr., who was a prominent immunologist and medical school dean.

James III has not appeared in public or in the media, so we can only speculate about his life and career.

Edward Colbert

Edward is the second oldest Colbert sibling and a successful attorney in Washington D.C.

He specializes in intellectual property law and has worked with various clients, such as the United States Olympic Committee, the Home Shopping Network, and Martha Stewart.

Edward is also a global leader in trademark law and a pro bono lawyer for the Special Olympics.

He has a daughter, Joan Elizabeth Colbert, and a son, Edward Tuck Colbert Jr.

Mary Colbert Denger

Mary is the third oldest Colbert sibling and the oldest daughter.

She is also the most private of the Colbert clan, as there is very little information about her online. She has not appeared on any of Stephen’s shows or in any interviews.

We do know that her maiden name is Colbert and that her married name is Denger, but we don’t know anything else about her personal or professional life.

A picture of the Colbert’s family, part of Stephen Colbert’s siblings  | Photo courtesy: Daily Mail
Colbert’s family | Photo courtesy: Daily Mail

William Colbert

William was the fourth oldest Colbert sibling and the first one to pass away.

He was born in Munich, Germany, where his father was stationed as a military doctor. He later moved to the Washington area and became a treasury lawyer.

William was married to Susan Kantrowitz and had two sons, William Jr. and Ryan.

He died in 1999 at the age of 49 from cancer.

Margo Colbert

Margo is the fifth oldest Colbert sibling and the second daughter.

She is also a lawyer, like her brothers Edward and William.

Margo works as a senior counsel at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in Washington D.C.

She is married to John Wetterau and has two children, John Jr. and Lorna.

Thomas Colbert

Thomas is the sixth oldest Colbert sibling and a film producer.

He has produced several documentaries, such as Chasing the Moon, The Day the World Series Stopped, and The Battle of Chosin.

Thomas is also the co-author of the book The Eleventh Day: The Full Story of 9/11 and Osama bin Laden, which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 2012.

He is married to Barbara Meade, who is the co-founder of Politics and Prose, a famous independent bookstore in Washington D.C.

Jay Colbert

Jay is the seventh oldest Colbert sibling and a teacher.

He teaches English and drama at the Porter-Gaud School in Charleston, South Carolina, where he also directs the school’s theater program.

He is married to Ann McGee and has three children, James, Ned, and Clare.

Elizabeth Colbert Busch

Elizabeth is the eighth oldest Colbert sibling and the youngest daughter.

She is an economist, politician, and the director of business development at Clemson University’s Restoration Institute.

She ran for Congress in 2013 as the Democratic nominee in South Carolina’s 1st congressional district, but lost to Mark Sanford, the former governor of South Carolina.

Elizabeth is also the founder of the Executive Board of Directors of Charleston Women in International Trade.

She has three children from her previous marriage to Robert Legare, Mary, Robert Walker, and Catherine Ann. She is currently married to Claus Wyman Busch III.

Paul and Peter Colbert

Paul and Peter were the ninth and tenth oldest Colbert siblings, respectively.

They were Stephen’s immediate older brothers and his closest companions.

They both died in a tragic plane crash in 1974, along with their father, when Stephen was only 10 years old. The plane, Eastern Airlines Flight 212, crashed due to pilot error near Charlotte, North Carolina.

Paul was 18 and Peter was 15 at the time of their death. They were both students at the Porter-Gaud School, where Jay now teaches.

Stephen Colbert

Stephen is the youngest and most famous Colbert sibling.

He was born in Washington D.C. and grew up in Charleston, South Carolina. Stephen attended the Porter-Gaud School, where he was involved in theater and improv comedy.

He later studied at Northwestern University and joined the Second City comedy troupe in Chicago.

Stephen rose to fame as a correspondent on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and later as the host of The Colbert Report, where he played a fictionalized version of himself as a conservative pundit.

He is now the host of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, where he interviews celebrities, politicians, and other newsmakers.

He is also an author, actor, producer, and philanthropist.

Stephen is married to Evelyn McGee-Colbert, whom he met at a theater festival in 1990. They have three children, Madeline, Peter, and John.


What does Stephen Colbert daughter do?

Stephen Colbert has one daughter, Madeline, and two sons, Peter and John.

Madeline is the oldest of the three and was born in 1995. She is a journalist and an associate producer at 60 Minutes, a news magazine program on CBS.

Madeline has previously written for The Atlantic and Time, covering topics such as politics, foreign affairs, business, and economy. She is also a graduate of Yale University, where she double-majored in English and Political Science.

What happened to Stephen Colbert’s brother?

Stephen Colbert had two brothers, Paul and Peter, who died in a plane crash along with their father, James, in 1974.

The plane, Eastern Airlines Flight 212, crashed due to pilot error near Charlotte, North Carolina. Stephen was only 10 years old at the time and was the youngest of 11 children.

He has said that the tragedy shaped his life and comedy.


The Colbert clan is a large and diverse family, with each sibling having their own achievements and interests.

They are also very supportive of each other, especially of Stephen, who often invites them to his shows or mentions them in his jokes.

They are a testament to the power of family, humor, and resilience in the face of tragedy and loss.

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