The US presidential candidates may have star qualities — and they also have stars in their families, according to a genealogical study linking Hillary Clinton to Angelina Jolie and Barack Obama to Brad Pitt.
The New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) in Boston on Wednesday released a study in which it traced the family trees of all three presidential candidates to find they all had famous relatives, dead and alive. It found Obama, whose mother is from Kansas, can claim at least six US presidents as distant cousins, including George W. Bush and his father George H.W. Bush, Gerald Ford, Lyndon Johnson, Harry Truman and James Madison. Other cousins include British PM Winston Churchill — and Brad Pitt, a ninth cousin linked back to Edwin Hickman who died in Virginia in 1769.
Obama’s Democratic rival, Clinton, shares a common ancestor with Pitt’s partner, actress Angelina Jolie, said Christopher Child of the NEHGC, a non-profit organisation. Clinton and Jolie are ninth cousins twice removed linked by Jean Cusson of St Sulpice, Quebec, who died in 1718. Clinton is also a cousin of several famous people with French Canadian ancestry, including Madonna, Celine Dion and Alanis Morissette.
Republican nominee John McCain is a sixth cousin of Laura Bush but it was hard to track other ancestors.