March 26th, 2008
09:30 AM ET
14 years ago

Family ties: Presidential candidates share notable ancestors

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="A new study says Clinton is related to actress Angelina Jolie."](CNN) - Perhaps, now the candidates will play nice.

For all their insistence on how unlike they are from one another, the three U.S. presidential candidates share some noteworthy family connections, the New England Historic Genealogical Society has found.

Democratic Sen. Barack Obama, who has made his opposition to the Iraq war a linchpin of his campaign, is distantly related not only to U.S. President George W. Bush but also to another wartime leader - former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill.

Because of his shared ancestry with President Bush, Obama is also indirectly related to his rival on the Republican side, Sen. John McCain.

McCain, it turns out, is a sixth cousin of First Lady Laura Bush.

Meanwhile, Sen. Hillary Clinton, is related to beatnik author Jack Kerouac, Canadian Prime Minster Pierre Trudeau and Camilla Parker-Bowles, wife of Prince Charles of England.

Clinton also shares ancestors with Grammy Award-winning singers Celine Dion and Madonna.

The senator won a Best Spoken Word Grammy for the audio version of her book, "It Takes a Village." Rival Obama also snagged one in the same category for his book "The Audacity of Hope."

Conservatives who sometimes accuse Democrats of being in bed with liberal Hollywood elites may have been handed one more round of ammunition by the Society's findings.

Clinton, the Society said, is related to Angelina Jolie. And Obama is related to Jolie's boyfriend Brad Pitt.

The New England Historic Genealogical Society, founded in 1845, says it is the oldest such organization in the country. Members spent three years tracing the lineage of the candidates.

Among their other findings:

McCain, the Vietnam War veteran who spent five years as a prisoner of war, descends from a long line of kings: Scottish King William the Lion, English King Edward I and French King Louis VII.

Obama, the son of a white woman from Kansas and a black man from Kenya, is "related to millions of contemporary Americans – perhaps even a significant percentage of the population," the researchers said.

He is cousins with six U.S presidents, including Lyndon Johnson, Harry Truman and Gerald Ford. He is also linked to American artist Georgia O'Keefe, the Duchess of Windsor and two men who signed the Declaration of Independence.

Most surprisingly, Obama - the man who could become America's first African-American president - is linked by ancestry to Robert E. Lee, who commanded the armies of the Southern slave-holding states during the American civil war.

Bedfellows, it turns out, make for strange politics.

soundoff (85 Responses)
  1. mimi de la cruz




    March 26, 2008 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  2. J.D. Austin,TX

    Yet again another pointless fact to try and distract us from the real issues in America. keep that garbage on TMZ. And I wonder if Jolie wanted anyone to know that?
    OBAMA 08'

    March 26, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |


    GO HILLARY!!!!!!!!!

    March 26, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  4. Manuel TX

    It figures that Obama is related to Bush.

    The two great Uniters.... 🙂

    March 26, 2008 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  5. AJ

    I bet that turns Hillarys stomach. If I were her it would make me sick.

    March 26, 2008 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  6. LOL

    They're also related with the ancient evil reptilian lineage of... XENU!

    March 26, 2008 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  7. Gerald

    Sounds like world leadership and perverted Hollywood behavior is a "Family owned business" and nobody sees something wrong with that.

    March 26, 2008 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  8. mike

    This is the dumbest thing I have ever read...

    March 26, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  9. Maryzep

    So what?
    Hitler, Moussolini and Stalin also shared notable ancestors!

    March 26, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  10. Beverly Williams

    RFP and Ben: there were no such people as Adam and Eve. Adam and Eve were merely REPRESENTATIVE of the first people.

    March 26, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  11. Ralph

    OBamas Racist ancestors, are noble?

    March 26, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  12. Stephanie, PA

    We've all heard these relations before. As it turns out, we are all related to VIPs in some way or another. It's just a variation on six degrees of separation.

    More importantly.....WHO CARES?!

    March 26, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  13. Spirit of America

    We are all brothers and sisters in one, occasionally dysfunctional, human family with one origin, one planet, one creation, and one destiny.

    March 26, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  14. checkthisout

    OBAMA is Related to JEREMIAH WRIGHT.

    March 26, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  15. SE

    Did anyone check to see if Hillary was related to the little boy who cried wolf? It must be in the bloodline somewhere...

    March 26, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  16. LM


    Guess which side they were on?!?!

    March 26, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  17. checkthisout

    OBAMA is also related to RAILA ODINGA,
    The Prime Minister of KENYA.

    March 26, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  18. m

    Kerouac '08 !!!

    March 26, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  19. Mike in Houston

    Judging from the "mis-statements" coming from Hillary, I'm sure there's a relationship to Joseph Goebbels in her past.

    March 26, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  20. Marty from Virginia

    Obama is the genetic embodiment of the unifiying theme of his campaign.

    March 26, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  21. BCNU

    Trace back far enough and we're probably all related to Lancelot Link and Mata Hari.

    March 26, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  22. grammar nazi

    "Meanwhile, Sen. Hillary Clinton, is related..."

    Nice wrong comma there.

    March 26, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  23. Kevin, Louisville, Ky

    I love Princess Diana....went to England for her funeral .....

    Guess who I am voting for !!

    March 26, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  24. Remocrat

    Old News. If you read the Bible or the Koran. We are all brothers and sisters. That is why we hate and love each other so much.

    March 26, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  25. Ron


    March 26, 2008 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
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