Side by side of black and white portrait of Lincoln slightly smiling in a suit and bowtie next to Hanks slightly smiling in a suit and bowtie.

Abraham Lincoln and Tom Hanks.

Everett Collection/Shutterstock; BAKOUNINE/Shutterstock


  • Genealogists have linked several celebrities and high-profile figures to former presidents.
  • George W. Bush and Barack Obama have many distant Hollywood relatives.
  • It might surprise you to know that James Dean was a seventh cousin of Richard Nixon.

Brad Pitt is ninth cousins with former President Barack Obama.

Side by side of Pitt smiling in a tuxedo next to Obama smiling in a suit.

Brad Pitt and Barack Obama.

Andrea Raffin/Shutterstock; Frederic Legrand/COMEO/Shutterstock


Brad Pitt and the 44th POTUS are linked through Edwin Hickman, a shared ancestor who died in Virginia in 1769, making them ninth cousins.

After the link was discovered by the New England Historic Genealogical Society in 2008, Obama was asked about it during an interview on “The View.”

“I guess we’re ninth cousins, something removed – or something,” he said of Pitt, as per Access Online. “I think he got the better-looking side of the gene pool.”

While Pitt called himself “an Obama supporter, no question” in a 2012 Hollywood Reporter interview, not everyone in the family is such a fan: That same year, the actor’s mother, Jane Pitt, slammed President Obama and same-sex marriage through an op-end in a local newspaper.

Warren Buffett and Obama are allies as well relatives — they are seventh cousins, three times removed.

Waren smiling in glasses and a suit next to Obama smiling in a suit.

Warren Buffett and Barack Obama.

Mark Reinstein/Shutterstock; Frederic Legrand/COMEO/Shutterstock


Businessman and philanthropist Warren Buffett is a political ally as well as a distant cousin to Obama. They’re related though Frenchman Mareen Duvall who moved to Maryland in the 1650s as an indentured servant, according to Ancestry.com. Duvall is Buffett’s sixth great-grandfather and Obama’s ninth great-grandfather. 

When Ancestry.com revealed the connection in 2009, genealogist Anastasia Tyler said in a press release, “We’ve all watched President Obama and Warren Buffett’s ongoing association, from Buffett’s official endorsement of Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign to their sometimes differing views on economic policy.

“Like most family members, the President and Buffett may not always agree on everything, but this latest discovery confirming they are related may shed light on why the two seem to see eye-to-eye on many issues.”

Hugh Hefner once said he’d like to have a family reunion with his ninth cousin, twice removed, former President George W. Bush.

Side by side of Hugh and George smiling with their mouths closed and both in suits.

Hugh Hefner and George W. Bush.

S Buckley/Shutterstock; Joseph August/Shutterstock


During the 2004 election, President George W. Bush was up against presidential contender Senator John Kerry. In February 2004, it was revealed by genealogists at Millisecond Publishing that the pair are related and, even more interestingly, are related to Playboy mogul Hugh Hefner.

Hefner, who died in 2017, was then-President Bush’s ninth cousin, twice removed. While Hefner told CBS News in 2004 that he felt closer to Kerry, he said of Bush, “I wish him all the best, he’s our president.”

He also joked that he wanted to invite the pair over to the Playboy Mansion. “I would be delighted to invite both President Bush and Senator Kerry for a family reunion,” he said.

Another of George W. Bush’s famous cousins is Marilyn Monroe.

Black and white portrait of Marilyn smiling with her mouth open, eyes slightly squinted, and adjusting her necklace next to Bush smiling in a suit at a podium.

Marilyn Monroe and George W. Bush.

Associated Press/AP Images; Joseph August/Shutterstock


Monroe may have been linked to President John F. Kennedy in the early ’60s with rumors of the pair having an affair, but the blonde bombshell is officially tied to the Bush family.

Monroe is a ninth cousin, once removed, from 41st POTUS George H.W. Bush and ninth cousin, twice removed, from 43rd POTUS George W. Bush, according to CBS News.

The Bush family could even be linked to royalty. Former President George W. Bush reportedly has a family connection with Princess Diana.

Side by side of Diana smiling with voluminous hair in a high-neck blouse next to Bush smiling

Princess Diana and George W. Bush.

Associated Press/AP Images; Joseph August/Shutterstock


Princess Diana Spencer was the 11th cousin, twice removed, from Bush, the Express reported in 2019, citing genealogy charts. They’re supposedly linked through Thomas Mitchell, Bush’s 11th great-grandfather, who was born in 1566.

They may also be related through the 15th-century squire Henry Spencer, who “begat the Spencer family tree that spread across the Atlantic to New England in the 1600s,” according to UPI.

This means Prince William and Harry would be related to the former president too.

Tom Hanks narrated an Abraham Lincoln film, which was fitting since they’re third cousins, four times removed.

Side by side of black and white portrait of Lincoln slightly smiling in a suit and bowtie next to Hanks slightly smiling in a suit and bowtie.

Abraham Lincoln and Tom Hanks.

Everett Collection/Shutterstock; BAKOUNINE/Shutterstock


Often cast in patriotic or military movies, Tom Hanks is coincidentally related to the 16th president of the United States. Hanks revealed to the Daily Mail in 2012 how he’s related to Lincoln.

“His mother was called Nancy Hanks, and the members of my branch of the family are either cousins or in-laws or poor relations,” Hanks said.

Ancestry.com’s genealogists confirmed that Hanks is therefore Lincoln’s third cousin, four times removed.

Hanks added, “So when I was at school, guess which president I was always doing essays on.”

He went on to provide a narration for the 2011 TV drama “Killing Lincoln.”

Former President Herbert Hoover is the great-grandfather of CNN correspondent Margaret Hoover.

Black and white portrait of Herbert slightly smiling in a suit next to Margaret smiling in a white dress.

Hebert Hoover and Margaret Hoover.

Associated Press/AP Images; Lev Radin/Shutterstock


Margaret Hoover, a CNN commentator and the host of PBS’ “Firing Line,” is the great-granddaughter of the 31st POTUS. She has spoken for the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library Association, saying in 2002, “It is a great honor to be here today to eulogize my great-grandfather, a man whose life has personally inspired me for many years.”

She added, “If I could choose any great figure from history to sit and chat with for an hour, it would be my great-grandfather.”

Seventh cousins Richard Nixon and James Dean were quite different when it came to their public personas.

Black and white portraits of Richard and James.  Richard is smiling in a suit and tie. James is brooding in a button down and tie.

Richard Nixon and James Dean.

Associated Press/AP Images; John Kobal Foundation/Getty Images


The 37th president and the heartthrob were seventh cousins, once removed, and they share New England ancestry, according to Ancestry.com.

Both Dean and Nixon were also raised under the Quaker religion.

Jimmy Carter has long claimed to be cousins with country singer June Carter Cash.

Jimmy smiling and looking up in a suit next to a black and white photo of June smiling in a crochet top.

Jimmy Carter and June Carter Cash.

Joseph Sohm/Shutterstock; Associated Press/AP Images


The 39th president attended a 1980 town-hall meeting in Memphis, Tennessee, alongside country singers Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash. Johnny Cash was a friend to Carter, and his second wife, June, was Carter’s cousin — at least, according to the president.

In the Q&A, Carter said, “I haven’t just recently claimed her as a cousin. She’s been my cousin for a long time,” according to The American Presidency Project.

In the 2020 documentary “Jimmy Carter: Rock and Roll President,” footage showed the president similarly saying, “We always claimed that she was my cousin,” as per CNN.

In a 1976 interview with Patrick Carr of Country Music Magazine, Johnny Cash said that Carter had initially been joking about the familial connection, but that he’d later “told her the names — how they’re related.” According to Cash, Carter had told her they were fourth cousins.

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