ALEX COHEN, host:
We end today with a family affair.
This week, Lynne Cheney told MSNBC that her husband, the vice president, and presidential candidate Barack Obama are distant cousins. And that got us wondering who else has presidential ancestry.
So, we turned to that great keeper of knowledge, the inter Web, and what we found was quite surprising.
According family-forest.com - that's an ancestry research Web site - President George W. Bush has a lot of famous cousins, including these folks.
(Soundbite of movie, "All About Eve")
Ms. BETTE DAVIS (Actress): (As Margo Channing) Fasten your sit belts. It's going to be a bumpy night.
(Soundbite of movie, "Dirty Harry")
Mr. CLINT EASTWOOD (Actor): (As Inspector Harry Callahan) You've gotta ask yourself a question. Do I feel lucky?
(Soundbite of movie, "The Seven Year Itch")
Ms. MARILYN MONROE (Actress): Can you feel the breeze from the subway? Isn't it delicious?
(Soundbite of movie, "Casablanca")
Mr. HUMPHREY BOGART (Actor): (As Rick Blaine) Here's looking at you Kid
COHEN: Yes, Bette Davis, Clint Eastwood, Marilyn Monroe and Humphrey Bogart are all related to the president. Family-forest.com's list also includes Agatha Christie, Charles Darwin, Georgia O'Keefe, and Hugh Hefner. Of course, these are all distant cousins - and in some cases, very distant.
(Soundbite of Calvin Klein TV commercial)
Ms. BROOKE SHIELDS (Actress): You want to know what comes between me and my Calvins? Nothing.
COHEN: You want to know what comes between Brooke Shields and George W.? Quite a lot. The two are 22nd cousins, once removed. To find out exactly what that means, we called Megan Smolenyak. She's the Chief Family Historian at Ancestry.com.
Ms. MEGAN SMOLENYAK (Chief Family Historian, Ancestry.com): What it has to do with is how many generations you have count back to the most recent common ancestor. So in this case, I'm going to take a guess that George Bush is the one who's closely related to their shared ancestor. And there's apparently 22 intervening generations between George Bush and that person. In case of Brooke Shields, she's probably one generation further removed from the common ancestor. And so that's were you picked up the removed part.
COHEN: So, when you see all of these people who apparently are related to the president as distant cousins, is it a surprise that he's got so many famous connections?
Ms. SMOLENYAK: Not so much, because if you know about genealogy math, you understand that we all sport millions of distant cousins. So I'm not so much surprised that the connection exists as I am that somebody found it.
COHEN: After all, as Walt Disney - also known as George W.'s 13th cousin once removed - said it's a small world.
(Soundbite of song "Its Small World")
Unidentified Group: (Singing) It's a small world after all. It's a small world after all. It's a small world after all. It's a small, small world. It's a world of laughter, a world tears…
COHEN: DAY TO DAY is a family-style production of NPR News, with contributions from Slate.com.
I'm Alex Cohen.
MADELEINE BRAND, host:
And I'm Madeleine Brand.
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