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Brad Pitt Children and Family

Updated 09-04-2021 – Lucy Walters

Brad Pitt has been a household name for well over 20 years now, and possibly even more so when the great scandal of 2005 happened. Brad had been married to Jennifer Aniston since July 2000, before getting the role in the movie ‘Mr & Mrs Smith’ in the year 2004, alongside co-star Angelina Jolie. As usual in Hollywood, rumours flew around that there was a bit too much chemistry between Pitt and Jolie, and lo-and-behold, come January of 2005 (before the movie had even been released), Aniston filed for divorce. Brad and Angelina became the new power-couple in Hollywood, and their whirlwind romance made headlines around the world. In just three short years, Brad Pitt went from being married to Jennifer Aniston, to being with Angelina Jolie, and becoming the father of six children. The decisions made by Brad back in 2005 were hard to understand for some die-hard Aniston fans, but it is undeniable that Brad has raised some amazing kids alongside Angelina. Although Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are still feeling the strain from their divorce becoming official in April 2019, both celebrities have often been quoted that their family is still their number one priority, and the love for each of their six children is sempiternal. It appears that some of that love may not be reciprocated from some of the children however, and not all relationships have been healthy from the beginning, nor have they been completely void of hostility and scandal. Regardless of whether the children were adopted in to the Jolie-Pitt family, or if they were naturally conceived, each of these kids are unique, and have a story of their own. So, let’s take a closer look, and delve in to the lives of each of the children.


Maddox Chivan Jolie-Pitt

Maddox is the first and eldest child of the Jolie-Pitt children, born on August 5th, 2001 in Cambodia. His name was changed to Maddox Chivan Jolie when he was adopted by Angelina Jolie, leaving behind his birth name Rath Vibol. The name Maddox has an English origin, meaning ‘Son of Madoc’, with the Welsh translation being ‘fortunate’. Chivan is Hindu name, that means ‘Lord Shiva’, although some sources indicate that in Cambodian, the name means ‘life’.

His adoption process has been viewed as one of the most famous and historical in Hollywood, as the process technically began in 2001, but was halted by the U.S government banning adoptions from Cambodia. The adoption was only deemed legal in the year 2002, and Jolie took custody of him whilst she was on a visit in Namibia in 2003, finally rescuing him from an orphanage in Battambang, Cambodia. At the time, Angelina was married to Billy Bob Thornton, but they divorced only a few months later. Angelina took to being a single-parent like a champion, juggling her work and motherhood like a pro. It was only a few years later that Brad Pitt came in to his life, and was officially adopted by Brad in the year 2006, where he then took on the name Jolie-Pitt.

Although Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt did everything in their power to keep Maddox out of the lime-light, being the adopted-eldest son of two Hollywood A-Listers was never going to give him the power to stay out of the spotlight. His famous adoption led to an increase in Maddox baby names around the world, but also helped to encourage and normalise adoption. There is also a foundation in his honour, the Maddox Jolie-Pitt foundation,  (https://mjp-foundation.org/) which aids impoverished Cambodian communities, supports female empowerment, and works to preserve Cambodia’s natural heritage, including its wildlife and wilderness. From 2006-2016, $28million was donated to the foundation by Angelina and Brad themselves, by donating all of their earnings from media payments for their wedding and baby photos. Maddox is involved in several humanitarian projects to this day.

Maddox has dabbled within the industry of his famous parents, making an appearance alongside Brad Pitt in ‘World War Z’ as a zombie, and another minor role in ‘By the Sea’, which was written and directed by Angelina Jolie. In the year 2017, he was an executive producer for a biographical film called ‘First They Killed My Father’, once again working alongside his mother who was the director. When Brad and Angelina divorced in 2016, Maddox stuck firmly by Angelinas side, and sources say that the relationship between father and son is now non-existent. As recently as March 2021, it is said that Maddox has appeared in court as an adult, speaking against Brad in a custody-dispute that is still going on. It is also suggested that he wishes to drop the ‘Pitt’ from his surname. Of course, this is all media-reported, and it is hard to know for certain what the truth is when it comes to celebrities and their families. We may never know what is going on behind closed doors, or how to differentiate between fact and fiction, as we are only given the view of the media.

In August 2019, Maddox moved to South Korea to begin his tertiary education, studying biochemistry at Seoul’s Yonsei University. Unfortunately, this was put on hold, and he returned to LA to live with Angelina and his siblings, as the University has been temporarily shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic. Regardless of if or when Maddox returns to the University, it is clear that he is an intelligent, kind-hearted and loyal person, who will continue to follow in his parents footsteps, and do great things to help humanity.

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Pax Thien Jolie-Pitt

Pax is the second eldest child of the Jolie-Pitt children, yet he was the fourth addition to the kids in the family. He was the last of the kids to be adopted, before natural pregnancy finished the Jolie-Pitt clan. Adopted in the year 2007 from the Tam Binh Orphanage in Vietnam, Pax was three years old when he joined the family, becoming the instant big brother to Zahara and Shiloh, and another younger sibling for Maddox. His birth name was Pham Quang Sang, but was changed to Pax Thien, which beautifully translates to ‘calm/peaceful skies’.

Pax’s adoption was interesting, as although Angelina and Brad were together at the time, with three kids already, Vietnam has regulations that won’t allow unmarried couples to co-adopt. Brad and Angelina wouldn’t get married until 2014, and as a result of this, it was just Angelina that adopted him as a single parent in 2007, before Brad officially adopted him under U.S law.

Like all of his siblings, Pax has been exposed to the spotlight since his famous adoption, and he has handled it incredibly well, even though he has expressed on more than one occasion that he hates the paparazzi. He has been seen grinning from ear-to-ear at several red-carpet events, although some may say that his footwear is not the usual type of style one would usually see at the Golden-Globes! However, the Pitt-Jolie kids have always been encouraged to be true to themselves, and individuality and personal preferences have never been hindered.

Pax has shown interest in the film industry on several occasions, and he appeared in Maleficent (uncredited) in 2014 alongside Angelina, as well as providing the voice for ‘Yoo’ in Kung Fu Panda 3 in 2016. He also worked alongside Maddox and Angelina in the film ‘First They Killed My Father’.

When he was younger, his mother described him as ‘very wild, likes stuffed monkeys, and gets in to trouble often’, which is something most parents of boys can relate to! Nowadays in 2021 however, he is studying Vietnamese, and navigating life as a teenager who is famous by association. It is reported that alongside his brother Maddox, his relationship with Brad has been estranged since the divorce in the year 2016, but is not as widely publicized.


Zahara Marley Jolie-Pitt

Zahara Marley is the first, and oldest daughter within the family. She was adopted by Angelina in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa in 2005, when she was just six months old, and began to share the spotlight with brother Maddox. Brad Pitt went on to adopt her as his own child as well not long after, where she officially became part of the Jolie-Pitt clan. The name Zahara is of Hebrew, Swahili origin, and means ‘to shine; flower’. Marley has an English origin, meaning ‘pleasant seaside meadow’. These stunning names are both so picturesque, and a perfectly assigned choice of names for a young baby girl, who would grow up to be just as beautiful as what the names suggest.

The circumstances surrounding her birth-mother are difficult, with earlier statements implying that she had passed away from Aids, but almost eight years after this was revealed, an exclusive interview with her apparent birth mother was released online (https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4124360/Angelina-Jolie-s-adopted-Ethiopian-daughter-Zahara.html) that suggested differently. Whatever truths lie within this complicated story, has not changed the fact that Zahara is continuing to grow up with incredible morals, and a strong family-unit.

In 2009, the Jolie-Pitt Foundation created the Zahara programme, to help treat drug-resistant tuberculosis in Ethiopia. This is one of the many charitable gestures that Zahara has been exposed to throughout her life, and like the rest of her family, she is a huge advocate for those less-fortunate, and a genuine humanitarian. At just 15years old, upon meeting Sahle-Work Zewde (the first female President in Ethiopia), Zahara discussed the importance of drug-resistant tuberculosis, the importance of girls education, and sanitary pad solutions for girls in school. It is hard to imagine having these types of discussions with a woman in power, let alone doing so at the tender age of 15!

Zahara gave voice to the character ‘Meng Meng’ in the fun kids movie Kung Fu Panda 3, but it is uncertain whether or not she intends to follow in her parents footsteps. Less and less is known about the Jolie-Pitt children as we work down the ages of them all, with both of their parents trying to shield them from the public eyes as much as physically possible. That doesn’t stop her parents from bragging about Zahara though, with her happiness being explained as ‘she is one of those people who laughs with her whole body. Completely open, and full of joy’.

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Shiloh Nouvel Jolie-Pitt

Shiloh is the first biologically-related daughter of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, and the world watched the pregnancy play out, following every movement of the two expectant parents who already had three kids in tow, waiting with bated breath for the baby to arrive in to the world. In fact, People magazine paid a whopping $4.1million for the rights to her exclusive baby pictures to be splashed across the front page of their magazine! Shiloh was born on May 27th 2006, practically amid a scandal due to the unusual circumstances. She was born in Namibia, where Pitt and Jolie had spent several weeks at a private resort, in complete pre-natal seclusion. Rumours at the time suggested that nobody else was allowed to visit the resort, nor be associated with anyone there, due to the high-profile celebrity status of her parents, but complete confirmation amongst Hollywood scandals is borderline impossible to confirm.  

The name Shiloh in itself is so peaceful, as the Hebrew originated name translates to ‘tranquil’. Nouvel is a French surname-turned first name that means ‘new’. It was a beautifully designed name for the doting parents for their baby girl. However, from the age of just two years old, Shiloh decided that she would like to be different, and made a choice to be called John from here on out! Thus, began another media frenzy, with Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt doing exactly what any loving parent would do – Accepting her request, showing relentless love and support, and letting her choose to do however she pleased. In 2010, when Shiloh was only 3years old, Angelina was quoted saying ‘she wants to be a boy, so we had to cut her hair. She likes to wear boy clothes. She thinks she’s one of her brothers’.

Now an LGBTQ icon, Shiloh/John has been in the spotlight for 15years, being unforgivably and unapologetically loyal to how she feels on the inside. Never succumbing to any pressure from anyone within the large Jolie-Pitt family, nor the entire world watching, Shiloh/John has donned short haircuts, worn suits to the red carpet, and made a world of difference for so many others within the LGBTQ community. The fact that both Brad and Angelina completely glossed over the revelation made by Shiloh at a young age, made waves for so many others within the LGBTQ community to be more accepted and understood by their loved ones. Without even trying, Shiloh/John changed many lives, simply by being honest. It was an incredibly humbling, and unintentional gift to the world.


Knox Léon Jolie-Pitt

Knox Leon Jolie Pitt is the first and only biological son that Brad and Angelina had together. This second pregnancy of Angelina’s naturally resulted in twins, and Knox is the eldest by about 60 seconds, and big brother to the youngest member of the pack, Vivienne. When Knox and Vivienne came in to the world together in July 2008, their baby photos were plastered all over magazines and online sites, earning the Jolie-Pitt foundation an incredible $15million!

Knox inherited his first name from his paternal great-grandfather, which is of Scottish origin, meaning ‘round hill’. It quickly became a popular name, soaring to the top of the charts in 2009. His middle name Leon was derived from his mother’s great-grandfather, which has a Greek origin that has a sweet and fun translation, and simply means ‘lion’.

Alongside his siblings, Knox has been homeschooled most of his life. The Jolie-Pitt kids have all been offered a well-rounded and worldly education, and have been tutored by professionals on an array of subjects, including foreign languages. The lockdown of 2019/2020/2021 does not appear to have changed home life too drastically for Knox and his siblings, as they are used to being within each other’s social circle whilst learning.

Like most teenagers, Knox is a fan of soccer and skateboarding, and appears to lead an exceptionally ordinary and fun life, considering he has been famous since the early days of his Mums pregnancy. He is naturally inclined to help those less fortunate than himself, and works alongside his entire family in an array of charitable projects. An example of his charitable outreach was when he was seen selling products at a local dog park, with organic doggie cookies on the menu, to raise funds for Hope and Paws, which is a local LA animal rescue organisation. This is such an awesome way to share the love, and let’s be honest, who wouldn’t want to buy organic doggie cookies from one of the most famous twins in the world?!

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Vivienne Marcheline Jolie-Pitt

Vivienne Marcheline Jolie-Pitt is the youngest daughter that completes the family. Alongside twin brother Knox, she was born on the French Rivera, in the seaside city of Nice. Suitably, Vivienne is a name of French origin, that means ‘alive’. Her middle name Marcheline was inherited by her maternal grandmother, is also of French origins, and means ‘war like’.

Vivienne famously appeared alongside her mother in the movie Maleficent, as young Princess Aurora. Fans that follow the famous clan were thrilled to learn that Vivienne would be appearing in the movie, however, the decisions behind this casting choice were apparently more of a convenience than anything else. Directors of the movie were struggling to find a child who was not afraid of Angelina Jolie in her full makeup and costume, which is a dynamic they needed for the scene. Pax and Zahara also made an appearance in this movie, and reports state that Pax was so shocked and terrified by the makeup, that he ran away from his mother!

As of 2021, Vivenne is now 12years old, yet very little is known of her private life, despite the paparazzi that follow her around. Vivienne appears to be a happy and cruisy kid, always happy to help and support those around her, and is as much a philanthropist and humanitarian as the rest of the Jolie-Pitt clan. She is often seen in photos alongside any one of her siblings, smiling and laughing, and enjoying what appears to be a very fulfilling and fun life with those she loves the most.


Baby names

You may notice that each of these baby names are unique, and there are no traditional David, Thomas, or Roberts in the list. Each of the baby names have a powerful meaning, and there are a variety of origins. You may have also noticed that within the contents of the letters in all the boys first names, they all end in the letter ‘X’.

Chivan: Indian origin, meaning ‘Lord Shiva’

Knox: English/Scottish origins, meaning ‘from the small hill’

Leon: Greek origin, meaning ‘lion’

Maddox: English origin, meaning ‘Son of Madoc’, which is a Welsh name meaning ‘fortunate’

Marcheline: French origin, meaning ‘warrior, war-like’

Marley: English origin, meaning ‘pleasant seaside meadow’

Nouvel: French origin, meaning ‘new’

Pax: Latin origin, meaning ‘peaceful’

Shiloh: Hebrew origin, meaning ‘tranquil’

Thien: Vietnamese origin, meaning ‘sky, heaven’

Vivienne: French origin, meaning ‘life’

Zahara: Hebrew/Swahili origins, meaning ‘to shine, flower’

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