How George W. Bush And Hugh Hefner Are Related

As consumer-level DNA testing services become more ubiquitous, tracing actual genetic lineage is easier than ever for the average person, hoping to find an important figure from history, or a famous king or queen somewhere in their family tree. More often than not, though, these tests reveal long lines of anonymous ancestors all throughout history that, while personally edifying for the person taking the test, otherwise played no particular role in history.

According to CBS News, however, President George W. Bush does have a couple of surprising family members hidden in his DNA — one with a far more libertine lifestyle than the conservative and religious values that the Bush family is known for, and the other a one-time political rival of the former president. More than anything, this distant relationship between the three men proves that both Bush and his previously unknown relatives have a much deeper connection to American history than previously believed.

They're ninth cousins

Playboy Magazine founder Hugh Hefner and former President George W. Bush are, in fact, distantly related through Thomas and Welthian Richards, 17th-century residents of the Plymouth Colony and actual Pilgrims. Bush and Hefner aren't the only famous Americans on that Richards line, either. Former Senator, Secretary of State and Democratic nominee for President John Kerry, defeated by Bush in the 2004 presidential election, is also related to those two men through the Richards line, according to the Independent.

For his part, Hefner, who died in 2017, was less than thrilled to be related by blood to President Bush, however distant the relation might be. He did wish his distant cousin well, though, telling CBS News in 2004, "I would be delighted to invite both President Bush and Senator Kerry for a family reunion." Other notable Americans sharing a connection to the Richards family include General Douglas MacArthur, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and Benedict Arnold. In light of this, the Richards lineage seems to be among the most important in American history.