Ronnie Polkingharn: Uncle whose death scarred Eminem

Who is Ronald Dean Polkingharn?

Ronald Dean Polkingharn (commonly known as Ronnie) is a name that is remembered after many years of his death because he had once been a personal idol, a mentor, and a muse to world-famous artist Eminem.

Quick facts

Full nameRonald Dean Polkingharn
Nickname Ronnie
Date of birthJuly 27, 1972
Sun signCancer
Best matchScorpio, Taurus
Lucky number2, 7, 9
Lucky colorCream white
Nationality American
Height Above 1.6 meters
Hobby Listening to music and football
Eye color Brown
Favorite songsReckless by ICE T
Death December 13, 1991

Ronnie Polkingharn childhood

Ronnie is the son of Ronald Dewey Polkingharn and Betty Hixton. They are from the small county of St. Joseph, Missouri, of the United States.

Ronnie has four half-siblings. Only two of them are known to the media. One of them is a sister named Deborah Rae Mathers- Briggs (Nelson), also known as Debbie (age 65 and mother of Eminem), and Todd K Nelson.

Childhood pic of eminem and Ronnie Polkingharn standing beside each other

Ronnie went to school and spent his childhood with four half-siblings and a loving Nephew in his hometown. Unfortunately, his half-brother Todd passed away in 2004 at the age of forty-two.

Ronnie is famous for being the uncle of rapper, songwriter, record producer, record executive, and actor Marshall Bruce Mathers, III (famous as EMINƎM and slim shady), however only a couple of months older than him.

Related: Click here to read about Hailie Jade.


As per the sign, Cancer suggests an intuitive, sensitive, shy kind of personality. Ronnie must have been a passionate lover and one who connects and commits to a relationship from heart and soul.

He must have been fond of arts and fashion as he listened to rock, pop, and hip hop music. Pictures of his youth show long hair in the back, very popular in Hollywood in the 70s.

Blushing a smile and avoiding cameras or uncomfortably tilting their head in all his pictures sure suggest he is an introverted kind of person.

Related: Read the complete biography of Eminem here.


The only thing that could not go well in this happy-go-lucky kid’s life was his relationship. As his girlfriend’s name is anonymous to date, he died after being dumped by the love of his life.

Related: Learn more about Kimberly Anne Scott Eminem’s ex-wife.

Uncle of Eminem

Eminem was featured as artist of the month by famous magazines worldwide, so his uncle came to fame. Eminem had heard his first rap song, “Reckless” by ice t, got introduced to hip hop, and breakdance through his uncle Ronnie.

Ronnie had also mentored Eminem in music, loved and supported him to become an artist. Some also say that he raised Eminem and spent all his free time with him. Eminem has mentioned his uncle Ronnie bringing him the “breakin” album in 1981.

Eminem was bullied in his school, and Ronnie was practically the only friend he could trust in his sensitive days.

Eminem with his uncle ROnnie

Ronnie’s mother remembers Eminem and Ronnie being best buddies. Ronnie was Eminem’s idol. Most of the things that Eminem had been first gifted to him were by Ronnie, including the famous dog tag.

Related: Read about Whitney Scott Mathers here

According to Ronnie’s mother, Eminem could not visit the grave even after Ronnie’s five years of passing away. He neither placed the first flower nor bid him farewell. Eminem is almost protesting against his uncle by selling one beloved chain’s duplicates that Ronnie gave him.

Eminem’s way of missing– Tattoo of uncle Ronnie

It’s not always anger that Eminem might have towards Ronnie, sometimes it’s a feeling of missing and pain.

Eminem Tattoo of his uncle Ronnie

Eminem has a tattoo suggesting death in the upper left shoulder under which he has carved the name of his beloved uncle Ronnie, and in the next arm lie Bonny and Clyde.

Seeing how Eminem is not close with the rest of his family, Ronnie’s mom said, “If my son could speak to you today from the grave, he would say –” Marshall stop some of the garbage, makeup with your family, life’s too short.”

How did Polkingharn die?

A young boy, warm-hearted and handsome as Ronnie, died by shooting his head and leaving a terrible shock to his Nephew. As explained by his sister Ronnie was “running afoul of the law over a dog” and left the world with suicide at the age of 19.

Eminem was engrieved after Ronnie’s death as it was not just a friend he lost; it was his beloved uncle, his soulmate, the only relative he truly cherished, and a friend of highs and lows.

Related: Read about Sarah Mathers (Half-sister of Eminem)

Why didn’t Eminem attend Ronnie’s funeral?

Eminem was very close to Ronnie. Even though he was his uncle but the age gap was of only 2 years. Ronnie and Eminem had a strong bond and were more of a friend than uncle and nephew.

His death was sudden, and his departure from the world was unexpected at a very young age. It left Eminem in a complete shock like it would leave any of us if we were in the same situation.

Malcolm Marshall, who was struggling in his personal life, could cope with the death of Ronnie. However, he did not speak for weeks. It took him a long time to assimilate his uncle’s death.

Related: Know more about Nathan Samra-Mathers

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  1. I’m sorry that this ever had to happen to Eminem. It may have influenced the song Stan but still, it didn’t have to happen. I know how bad it is to lose someone you love. I lost my grandma 3 days after X-mas while me and my friend were playing Mario party. Ain’t it ironic. A game about parties which are meant to be happy, but then fate comes and kills your happiness. I hope this comment reaches The Real Slim Shady himself, Eminem. R.I.P Ronnie Polkinharn.

  2. I wonder why didn’t any mention of Ronnie’s dad Ronald Dewey polkingharn! My grandfather yes I’m the daughter of Rhonda Polkingharn jessica! N my grandmother Mary Ellen, was married to Ronald Polkingharn first! I’ve herd some story’s of Betty Ronnie mother! Who doesn’t know how to be honest about anything!! It’s to bad they didn’t get all the story!

  3. “I’ve read about your uncle Ronnie too i’m sorry. I’ve had a friend who killed him self over bitch who didn’t wan’ em. But anyway what’s man, hiw’s your doughter?”

  4. It’s painful that Ronnie did that stupid act..but at least he gave birth to today’s Eminem who seems not to let anyone else lose their…. whoever it is to that same path

  5. Eminem i didn’ know about your uncle ronnie until i read the cause of death and i didn’t know he was your half brother and you i didn’t know uncle was42 he kill and i didn’t know he shot himself in the head and had to go out like that at19 years old thats Search a shame to have Uncle Ronnie Commit suicide at the age of 19

    1. That’s true. I am of the same opinion as you are. To die at this young age for any reason is not acceptable. Take a moment to think about those who care about you. You can always find someone, I’m sure.

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