Issa Rae Biography

Updated On Oct 10, 2018 Published On Jul 10, 2018
Facts of Issa Rae
Date of Birth: 1985 , January-12
Birth Nation: United States
Name Issa Rae
Birth Name Jo-Issa “Issa” Rae Diop
Nick Name Issa Bae
Father Abdoulaye Diop
Mother Delyna Diop
Nationality American
Birth Place/City Los Angeles, California
Religion Christian
Ethnicity African-American
Profession Actress
Working For United Talent Agency and 3 Arts Entertainment
Net Worth $3 million
Face Color Black
Famous for Awkward Black Girl
Boyfriend Single
Married Not Yet
Education Stanford University
Awards Golden Globe Awards
TV Show Insecure
Siblings Lamine Diop
Books The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl
View moreless Facts of Issa Rae

Jo-Issa “Issa” Rae Diop is an American actress, writer-director, and a web series creator. She was born on January 12, 1985, in Los Angeles, California. Her father is Dr. Abdoulaye Diop, a pediatric doctor from Senegal and her mother Delyna Diop is a teacher from Louisiana. Issa has four siblings, and her family lived in Senegal during her childhood.

Rae graduated from the King Drew Magnet High School of Medicine and Science where she had already begun her acting career. She graduated from Stanford University with a major in African and African-American Studies.

As a college student, she made music videos, wrote, and directed plays. She also wrote a mock reality series called Dorm Diaries. It was at Stanford that she met Tracy Oliver, the one who helped her produce Awkward Black Girl.

Issa’s web series Awkward Black Girl premiered on Youtube in 2011. The show showcases the life of J that was played by Rae. In the series, she interacts with her co-workers and love interests who never fail to place her in uncomfortable situations.

The series went viral due to blog posts and social media, eventually gaining it mainstream media attention and coverage. In an effort to fund the rest of the series of the first season, Rae and Tracy raised money through Kickstarter. The duo was able to accumulate $56,269 from 1,960 donations, and hence released the rest of the season one on Rae’s Youtube channel.

She then teamed up with rapper Pharrell Williams and premiered season two on his YouTube channel. The show won her a Shorty Award for Best Web Show.

She writes, edits, produces and performs film's most of her works on her own. Her other shows include Ratchet piece Theater, The “F” Word, Roomieloverfriends, and The Choir, which all focus on the African-American experiences that are often not presented by the mainstream media.

In 2013, she started working on the pilot of Insecure along with Larry Wilmore. The pilot was picked up by HBO and was released in 2016. It has received many critical acclamations. The actress actually had a huge weight loss for the show, losing a total of 50 pounds.

The American Film Institute selected it as one of the top 10 television series of the year. She was awarded the Golden Globe Award for the category of Best Actress- Television Series Musical or Comedy, in 2017 and 2018 respectively.

Rae has also published her own book titled The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl, a memoir released in 2015. The book depicts her life through a series of humorous anecdotes and opens up about her struggle of not fitting in.

Issa has appeared on the cover of Essence magazine’s May 2015 “Game Changers” alongside big names like Shonda Rhimes, Ava DuVernay, Debbie Allen, and Mara Brock Akil. She is currently signed with United Talent Agency and 3 Arts Entertainment.

Rae has always been quite secretive when it comes to her personal life. But there are rumors swirling around about her secretly dating relationship with Kofi Siriboe. As of 2018, Issa Rae' net worth is around $4 million whereas in 2017 her net worth was estimated to be about $3 million. She is followed by 2.1 million on Instagram as of October 2018.

Issa Rae facts on timeline

Born to parents Abdoulaye Diop and Delyna Diop

January 12 , 1985

Issa was born to parents Abdoulaye Diop and Delyna Diop, in Los Angeles, California in the year 1985.

Graduated from Stanford University


Rae graduated from the Standford University, with a major in African and African-American Studies. As a college, she made music videos and wrote short stories.

Premiere of Awkward Black Girl


Rae first web series Awkward Black Girl premiered on Youtube, which she co-wrote with her friend from Stanford University. The show immediately went viral through blog posts and, social media.

Shorty Award for Best Web Show


Issa's web series Awkward Black Girl was nominated for Shorty Award for Best Web Show of 2013 which she eventually won.

works on a New Comedy Series


In 2013, Issa began her works on a pilot for a brand new comedy series, along with Larry Wilmore, where she played as a major cast.


working on Insecure


In 2015, her pilot was picked by HBO and was titled Insecure, which was premiered in 2016 and has received good reviews till date.

Selected as top 10 television series of the year


Issa's HBO show Insecure was selected by the American Film Institute as the top 10 television series of the year.

Her first nomination for Golden Globe Awards


In 2017, Issa won her first nomination for the Golden Globe Award for the category of  Best Actress-Television Series Musical or Comedy.

Renewed for a Third Season

August 8 , 2017

Her show Insecure was premiered for the third season run by HBO, after the succession of its second season .

First book titled The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl


Rae's first memoir titled The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl, was published and went on to become a New York Times best-seller.

Cover girl for Essence


In 2015, Issa was featured as the cover girl for Essence magazine's "Game Changers" issue for the May edition.