Whether through money, talent, or just good publicity, certain families dominate American life.
There are legendary old money dynasties, twentieth century industrial dynasties, entertainment and sports dynasties, and political dynasties that hold a surprising amount of power for a democratic country.
We picked out today’s most impressive American dynasties and ranked them, considering historical legacy, current influence, and estimated wealth.
Real estate royalty
One of the most powerful real estate tycoons today, Donald Trump started his career as real estate investor and developer at his father's company. While he battled bankruptcy and SEC charges in the '90s, Trump has re-established himself as a successful businessman, and today is probably best known for his reality show, 'The Apprentice.'
Trump's daughter Ivanka is proving to be just as shrewd in business. She acquired The Doral Resort and its Blue Monster golf course in Miami for $US150 million, according to Forbes, and is planning to spend $US200 million renovating it. She also has a successful jewelry, fragrance, and shoe line.
Ivanka's husband, businessman Jared Kushner, runs his family's real estate development firm, Kushner Properties; is the founder of investment fund Thrive Capital; and owns The New York Observer, which he bought in 2006 for $US10 million.
Two-year-old Arabella Kushner and six-month-old Joseph Kushner, Ivanka and Jared's kids, have quite the empire to inherit: Donald Trump has an estimated net worth of $US3.9 billion, while Ivanka is reportedly worth $US150 million. Jared's net worth is around $US200 million.
Film and stage legends
Dubbed 'Hollywood's first family,' the Barrymores span the entertainment industry from screen to stage since before the American Revolutionary War. The family started with Maurice Barrymore -- his stage name -- who gave birth to actors Lionel, Ethel, and John Barrymore.
John, also known as 'The Great Profile' for his aristocratic good looks, was the most acclaimed actor of the early 20th century. John's second wife, Dolores Costello, was also a well-known silent film actress. The two gave birth to John Drew Barrymore who, when his parents divorced, rebelled against his mother's wishes to keep him out of the limelight by signing his first acting contract at age 17.
John Drew's daughter, Drew, the youngest and best-known of the Barrymores, has been acting since the age of three. She's the goddaughter of director Steven Spielberg, who directed the movie in which she had her breakout role, 'E.T.' Drew went on to star in 'Riding in Cars With Boys,' 'Charlie's Angels,' and 'The Wedding Singer.' Drew, whose net worth alone is an estimated $US125 million, gave birth to her first child in 2012 and had her second just last month.
Henry Ford founded the Ford Motor Company in 1903, and the Fords have been the first family in American automobiles ever since. His only son, Edsel, took over the company in 1919 at the age of 26 and is credited with the sleek designs that made the brand so popular.
Edsel's son Henry II took the reigns of Ford Motor Company in 1943 at the age of 25, and he really revived the company after WWII. His brothers held high and powerful positions under him.
Today, the family is still involved in the company: Henry II's son, Edsel II, still sits on the company's board of directors, his granddaughter Elena is a vice president at the company, and William Jr. (a grandson of Edsel Ford) was the Chairman and CEO until 2006 and still remains Executive Chairman at the company.
Today the descendants of Henry Ford control the Ford Motor Company, although they have a minority ownership of 2%. Based on a market cap of $US48 billion, the Ford family holds $US1.2 billion worth of common stock.
Jazz pianist Ellis Marsalis, Jr., spearheaded a musical dynasty in New Orleans, where he was born and raised. Urged by his father, Ellis Sr., who was a businessman and music lover, Ellis Jr. studied music in college and went on to play for the Corps Four jazz quartet while enlisted in the Marines and perform professionally around the world.
The patriarch of the Marsalis clan, Ellis Jr. was inducted into the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame in 2008. His sons have gone on to receive international acclaim in the music industry.
Branford, Ellis Jr.'s eldest and a Grammy Award-winning saxophonist, founded the Marsalis Music record label in 2002, and has played with the New York Philharmonic and the Australian Symphony in recent years.
Wynton, probably the best-known Marsalis, became the first jazz artist to win a Pulitzer Prize for Music for his composition 'Blood on the Fields' in 1997. He's still a successful composer, performer, and music director for Jazz at Lincoln Center.
Ellis Jr. has four other sons, including Delfeayo, who produced recordings for both his father and brother Branford, and won both a Grammy and a 3M Visionary Award, and Jason, who played drums in his father's band.
The Mellons, an Irish immigrant family from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, are known for the Bank of New York Mellon, Chevron, Aluminium Company of America (ALCOA), and New York Shipbuilding, among a number of other companies and interests.
The family fortune began when Judge Thomas Mellon founded T. Mellon & Sons (now Bank of New York Mellon) in 1869. His sons Andrew and Richard later took over the company and multiplied the family fortune. Andrew started Union Steel, which later merged with U.S. Steel to form the world's largest steel company, while Richard invested in aluminium and coal. With their fortune at its peak, Andrew was named Treasury Secretary in 1921, and Richard became president of the bank.
Andrew and Richard were also generous philanthropists; they founded the Mellon Institute for Industrial Research, a center that eventually merged into Carnegie Mellon University.
The younger generations continue to manage the family's fortune and donate to charities. Andrew's daughter Ailsa was a socialite and arts patron like her father. Richard's granddaughter Cordelia Scaife was also a philanthropist, and his grandson Richard Mellon Scaife
owns the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and a handful of Pennsylvania radio stations. Matthew Taylor Mellon II, another Mellon descendant, is
working on his own fashion label, HANLEY MELLON.
First family of football
The Mannings descend from a proud line of American footballers. Archie Manning started his family's football legacy at the University of Mississippi in the late '60s. He went on to play quarterback for the New Orleans Saints, Houston Oilers, and Minnesota Vikings before retiring in 1985.
Papa Manning has said that he never pushed any of his three sons to become professional players, but they all loved the game. Peyton and Eli were both number one NFL draft picks, and each won Super Bowl Champions and MVP honours in back-to-back seasons.
Peyton started his career as a quarterback for the Indianapolis Colts and switched to the Denver Broncos in 2012. He took the Broncos to Super Bowl XLVIII in 2014. As of 2013, Peyton is in the top 20 for highest paid athletes with $US30 million in earnings.
Younger brother Eli was raking in $US26.6 million in 2012 from the Giants and endorsements ranging from Samsung and DirecTV to Reebok and Toyota. The brothers have faced off three times -- professionally, at least.
The oldest, but least talked about brother is Cooper, who never played professional football due to a spinal disorder, but has a successful career in investment banking.
The Hearst family was a wealthy one long before they struck media gold in the publishing industry. William Randolph Hearst's publications popularised 'yellow journalism,' with all the best stories -- sometimes gossip, sometimes entire fabrications, but always entertaining. He started his empire with just one small newspaper in San Francisco before expanding to New York, and then to other big cities nationwide. Today Hearst Corporation is still the parent company of some of the biggest magazines and publications in the world.
In 1903 William Randolph Hearst married Millicent Willson and had five sons -- George, William Randolph Jr., John, and twins Randolph and David -- who all went on to work in media. William Randolph, Jr., became a reporter for a Hearst newspaper reporter and was awarded a Pulitzer Prize for his work; he took over the company when his father died. Junior's son, William III, is currently the Chairman of the board at Hearst. Junior's brothers George, John, and Randolph all ranked high in the company too.
Today, the Hearsts are still involved in the magazines, but the younger generations are best known as socialites. Randolph's granddaughters Amanda, Gillian, and Lydia are models and active socialites.
Nicholas Pritzker built a legal legacy for his family. He arrived penniless from Kiev, taught himself English, and worked during the day to attend law school at night. He went on to start a law practice, but his sons Harry, Abram, and Jack went into business instead, investing in real estate and small companies, which grew into a small family fortune. Abram delved into philanthropy, and helped establish the Pritzker School of Medicine at the University of Chicago.
Now the Pritzkers are most famous for helming the Hyatt hotel empire, thanks to Abram's sons Jay, Robert, and Donald. In 1957 they bought the Hyatt House hotel in Los Angeles and, over the years, turned their investment into a large chain of Hyatt hotels all over the world. They also founded industrial conglomerate the Marmon Group, which they sold to Warren Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway in 2008 for $US4.8 billion.
Abram's grandchildren vary in interests and industries: Jay's sons Daniel and John are a jazz musician and an investor respectively, and his daughter Jean ('Gigi') is a filmmaker. His son Thomas started The Pritzker Organisation to invest in businesses, and is the current Executive Chairman of Hyatt Hotels.
Jay Robert ('J.B.') and his brother Tony, Donald's sons, run private equity and venture capital firm The Pritzker Group.
Data from Forbes pegs the wealth of all prominent family members at nearly $US20 billion.
Monarchs of media
The Murdochs are Australian-American media moguls who run a massive media conglomerate.
Though originally from Scotland, the family first started to gain power in the early 1900s in Melbourne, Australia, when Keith Murdoch founded Australia's first national media chain, called News Limited.
Keith had four children, but his son Keith Rupert, who mainly went by 'Rupert,' took over the family business after his father died, acquiring struggling papers and turning them around. The Economist credits him with inventing the modern tabloid. He acquired News of The World in the U.K. in 1969 and amassed billions, landing him and his family -- including his sons Lachlan and James, who are now the Non-executive Co-chairman and Deputy COO of News Corp, respectively -- as the 33rd richest people in the world today.
Though he was born in Australia, Rupert Murdoch moved to New York in 1974 and is a naturalized U.S. citizen today.
The family faced controversy and investigation amidst the 2011 News Corp phone hacking scandal which caught prominent editors in Murdoch's company using phone tapping and other illegal means of gaining information.
Many of Rupert's children and other relatives are or were also working in media at one time or another.
The Rockefellers are an American family with a stronghold in industry and banking, and in recent years, they have also had several entrants into the political arena. While a number of other 'old money' families have lost their wealth or power, the Rockefellers have held on to their vast empire.
The Rockefellers came to the U.S., most likely from Germany, sometime in the 1720s. John D. Rockefeller's fortune began when he founded a produce business that fed Union troops during the Civil War. After the war, he started investing in oil, and co-founded Standard Oil in 1870 with $US1 million in capital, making it the largest company in the country at the time. John D. also invested in large real estate projects in New York City, where he lived with his family.
John D.'s son, John Jr. invested in real estate and eventually became majority stakeholder of Chase Bank. John Jr.'s son Nelson chose to enter into politics instead, serving four terms as the Governor of New York through 1973. His brother John III donated $US175 million to build Lincoln Center, and his brother David, the last living child of John D. served as Chairman and Chief Executive of Chase Bank.
Today, John III's son John IV ('Jay') currently serves as the U.S. Senator for West Virginia, and has been serving since 1984.
Entertainment industry magnates
Some people believe that classic movie 'The Godfather,' a film that was directed and written by Francis Ford Coppola, is also based, in part, on their own family history.
Francis Ford's parents were musicians, but he went into Hollywood, and directed blockbusters like the 'Godfather' movies, 'The Great Gatsby' (1974), and 'Apocalypse Now,' which earned him three Oscars and two Golden Globes. His siblings, Talia Coppola Shire, and August Floyd Coppola, are also in film and gave birth to the next generation of film greats: Talia is the mother of actor Jason Schwartzman, and August is the father of actor Nicholas Cage.
Francis Ford's family went into the film industry too: his wife is a documentarian, Roman is a producer and screenwriter, and Sofia, who made her acting debut as the baby in the first 'Godfather' movie, is best known for her films 'Somewhere,' 'Lost in Translation,' and 'The Virgin Suicides.'
The Coppola family's members have more than two dozen major award nominations and wins between them.
Headed up by CEO Charles Koch and his brother, Executive Vice President David Koch, the multi-faceted Koch Industries is the second-largest private company in America. The Kochs (pronounced like 'Coke') are some of the most powerful -- and most affluent -- people in the world, thanks in part to the boost they had from their entrepreneurial ancestors.
The family business was started by Fred Koch, who launched his career at the Texas Company in Port Arthur, Tex., working his way up until he co-founded what became the Rock Island Oil & Refining Company in the mid-20th century. The company was rechristened Koch Industries after his memory.
His sons, Charles and David, are the faces of Koch Industries today, but they also have two brothers, Bill (David's twin) and Frederick (the eldest), who are not involved in the company. (There were long, ugly legal battles where Bill and Frederick sued their brothers for billions, but the case eventually settled.)
The majority of press Charles and David receive these days is, in a word, negative. Some consider the Koch brothers influences who are 'undermining our democracy'; Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has called them 'un-American.' Still, the billionaire brothers have a massive political network that, for better or for worse, is large and far-reaching.
The New York Times is the Sulzberger family business. Arthur Hays Sulzberger, the 'grandfather' of the Times, attended Columbia University and joined the venerable paper in 1918, a year after he married Iphigene Ochs, the daughter of publisher Adolph Ochs.
Arthur Hays oversaw the growth of the paper, both in size and reputation, during the mid-1900s. He took over as publisher and president when his father-in-law died, and nearly doubled the circulation of the paper, as well as the size of the staff. Two years after he retired, his son Arthur Ochs ('Punch') Sulzberger took over as publisher.
Continuing the family tradition, Punch's son Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, Jr. in turn picked up the job as publisher of the New York Times when his father retired in 1992. Junior is credited with developing the digital operations at the Times. Forbes lists his 2013 compensation as $US5.3 million thanks to his salary, stock options and incentive plan.
Rulers of retail
The members of the Lauren family today span retail, philanthropy, and film, and each of them carries the formidable significance of the Lauren name behind them.
Ralph Lauren was born Ralph Lifschitz to a Jewish immigrant family in the Bronx, New York. He had an early interest in dressing well and looking his best, paying for his education with evening jobs. While working one of these jobs, Ralph began designing wide ties -- a contrast to the skinny ties that were 'in' at the time -- and his Polo label was born. Ralph changed his name to 'Lauren,' and his brand eventually developed into a lifestyle that produces everything from iconic American clothing to linens.
Ralph married Ricky Anne Loew-Beer, and had two sons (Andrew and David) and a daughter (Dylan). David is the only of Ralph and Ricky's children who entered his father's business. He is now Executive Vice President of Advertising, Marketing, and Corporate Communications at Ralph Lauren, and is married to George W. Bush's niece, Lauren Bush, who is the co-founder of the charity FEED. Andrew is an actor and film producer, known for 'The Spectacular Now,' 'The Squid and the Whale,' and 'G.' Dylan found her creative outlet through chocolate and sweets, and started what is now the world's largest 'confectionery emporium and lifestyle brand,' Dylan's Candy Bar.
Ralph, now 74, is worth an estimated $US6.9 billion alone.
Made famous by their Olympian stepfather Bruce Jenner and by Kim Kardashian's notorious sex tape, the Kardashians maintained their newfound fame with their reality TV show, 'Keeping Up With The Kardashians,' which portrays their opulent and over-the-top life of luxury.
Bruce Jenner, the clan's stepfather, is famous for winning gold at the 1976 Olympic games. He's married to Kris Houghton Jenner, who had several kids with her late husband Robert Kardashian -- the high-powered attorney who represented OJ Simpson during his murder trial. Today Krish is the president of her production company Jenner Communications, stars in 'Keeping Up,' and is the author of a best-selling memoir.
The Kardashian kids are the ones most often in the spotlight, however; their roles on 'Keeping Up,' dramatic relationships, public appearances and, sometimes, scandals, captivate fans of reality TV as well as fans of celebrity gossip. In 2012 the Kardashians signed a $US30 million contract to star in three more seasons of their show.
Kim Kardashian is reportedly the highest-paid woman in reality TV, earning $US18 million a year from the show as well as endorsements and other ads. An unexpected fashion icon, Kim gave birth to the newest family member North West with then-boyfriend (now fiance) Kanye West last June. The power couple recently appeared in wedding garb on the April cover of Vogue.
Tech and film notables
From humble beginnings to a less-humble present, Larry Ellison is one of the wealthiest and most powerful people in tech. Larry was born to an unwed Jewish mother whose family, according to Fortune, took the name 'Ellison' after Ellis Island.
Larry's mother gave him to relatives for adoption at a young age, and he's only ever met her once. But against all odds, he made it big. The college drop-out, now 69, built his enormous enterprise empire from the ground up and is now worth an estimated $US49.3 billion. He's also a real-estate mogul, with a portfolio the size of the phone book that includes the entire Hawaiian island of Lanai. His latest initiative is to wipe out polio, as he recently pledged $US100 million to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative. It may be chump change to Larry, but the donation could bring about the elimination of polio by the year 2018.
Larry's third marriage resulted in the birth of his two children, Megan, 27, and David, 31. Rather than follow in dad's footsteps, the Ellison kids both stormed head first into the film industry, and each owns a successful film production company. Megan's company Annapurna Pictures recently backed blockbuster hits 'American Hustle' and 'Her,' while David's own Skydance Productions produced 'True Grit,' 'Jack Reacher,' and the new 'Star Trek' movies.
Estée Lauder built a client-focused cosmetics empire from the ground up that hooked millions of loyal followers around the world. Today the company, and her descendants, are worth billions.
Estée Lauder was born to immigrant parents in Queens, N.Y., She began making her own cosmetics and selling them at local beauty salons. With financial help from her father, Estée opened Estée Lauder Cosmetics in Manhattan in the mid-1940s. Her husband Joe helped her run the business, and even their sons, Leonard and Ronald, were involved. Leonard officially joined the company in 1958, and Ronald joined in the mid-'60s.
Today the company is still run by the Lauder children and grandchildren. Leonard is the Chairman Emeritus of Estée Lauder Companies and his son, William, is the current Executive Chairman. Ronald is the Chairman of Clinique, while his daughters, Jane and Aerin, also hold powerful positions in the family-operated company. Leonard is now worth a reported $US8.1 billion, and his brother Ronald is worth $3.8 billion.
The family is also incredibly philanthropic; The Lauder Foundation, their charitable organisation, gives to Jewish heritage charities around the world. Ronald founded the Neue Gallery in New York City, and Leonard is a trustee of the Whitney Museum in New York.
The Tisch family is closely associated with the Loews Corporation and arts philanthropies, but Laurence Allen ('Larry') Tisch and his younger brother Preston Robert ('Bob') founded their empire on hotels.
Their first investment took off when Larry convinced his parents to help him invest in a New Jersey resort hotel. Bob soon joined in the business, and the Tisch brothers went on to acquire Loews from MGM Studios. Today, Loews has diversified to deal in insurance, oil drilling, and pipeline transport, in addition to high-end hotels. Larry is a major investor in CBS, which earned him a seat on the network's board, while Bob bought a stake in the New York Giants in 1991.
The family is also incredibly philanthropic, giving to charities like the Central Park Zoo, 92nd Street Y, NYU (which named their arts school the Tisch School of the Arts), and Take the Field, a charity one of the brothers founded to revitalize New York City's sports fields.
Sisters-in-law Joan and Wilma Tisch now control the family fortune built by their late husbands Bob and Larry. Wilma has a net worth of $US1.5 billion, while Joan has a net worth of $US2.9 billion. Their sons now control the company: Larry's son Jim is now the CEO of Loews Corporation, while Bob's son Jonathan is the Chairman of Loews Hotels. Larry's son Andrew is currently the Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Loews board.
The younger generation is proving their worth as well. Larry's grandson David is the managing partner at investment firm BoxGroup, and the founder of start-up incubator TechStars NYC. Jim's kids Jessica and Sam work for the NYPD's counterterrorism bureau and Citigroup, respectively; his son Ben is a portfolio manager in the investment department at Loews Corp.
The Kennedys, who descend from an Irish immigrant family, are a quintessential example of the American Dream.
The first Kennedys emigrated from Ireland to Boston in 1848, and after just one generation, a Kennedy entered politics, when Patrick Joseph 'P.J.' served first as State Representative, and then Governor, of Massachusetts.
P.J.'s son, Joseph Patrick, became the U.S. ambassador to the United Kingdom, and had nine children: Joseph Patrick Jr., John Fitzgerald, Rosemary, Kathleen, Eunice, Patricia, Robert Francis, Jean, and Edward ('Ted').
The three youngest of P.J.'s sons, John F., Robert F., and Ted, all became prominent figures in the U.S. government. JFK took office as President of the United States in 1961, and served until 1963 when he was assassinated. RFK served as U.S. Attorney General from '61 to '64 and announced in '68 that he would also be making a run for the White House, but was shot and killed shortly after winning the California primary election. And from 1962 to 2009, Ted was the Senator of Massachusetts, the third longest-serving senator the country has ever seen. He died in 2009 after a battle with brain cancer.
But many Kennedys remain on Capitol Hill. JFK and Jackie O.'s daughter Caroline is the U.S. Ambassador to Japan; JFK's sister Eunice married former mayor of Santa Monica, Calif., Robert Sargent Shriver, Jr., and their daughter Maria married actor and former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. Maria and Arnold's daughter Katherine wrote a book, and their son Patrick started a philanthropic clothing line called Project360. RFK's grandson Joe Kennedy III was elected to Massachusetts' 4th congressional district in 2012.
The Vanderbilts are one of America's oldest old money families. The family is of Dutch descent, and rose to prominence during the Gilded Age in the final decades of the 19th century.
Cornelius Vanderbilt, born in 1794, grew up in poverty, but managed to marry above him. He worked from a young age at his father's river shipping business, and built it up into a shipping empire. He and his descendants expanded the business into other industries, including railroads.
Cornelius' son Billy inherited 95% of his father's fortune, and continued investing in the railways; he's credited with building New York's Grand Central Terminal, and expanded into the Midwest. But after Billy, the majority of the Vanderbilts seemed to excel only in inheriting, and spending a lot of money on real estate.
Gloria Vanderbilt, a direct descendant of Cornelius on her father's side, was an early developer of designer blue jeans. Her son, Anderson Cooper, works as a prominent anchor for CNN. Record producer John Hammond and 'Justified' actor Timothy Olyphant are also more removed descendants of Cornelius on their mothers' sides.
Estimates put Gloria Vanderbilt's net worth at $US200 million, while Anderson Cooper reportedly earns $US11 million a year.
The richest family in the country built its fortune on an unshakable foundation: 'The Lowest Prices Anytime, Anywhere.'
Sam Walton and his brother Bud opened his first store in 1945 in Newport, Arkansas, but what eventually became Walmart didn't start to take shape until 1962 in Rogers, Arkansas.
The Waltons brought the one-stop shopping center to prominence. After the success of that business model for Walmart, the brothers founded Sam's Club in 1983 for discount shopping in bulk.
Jim Walton, Sam's youngest son, has an estimated net worth of $US36.8 billion, putting him in the top 10 of Forbes' list of billionaires in the world. Jim is also the CEO of the Waltons' Arvest Bank, which is valued at $US1.8 billion and made $US100 million in profit in 2012.
Jim's older sister Alice fell just shy of Forbes' top 10, with a net worth of about $US36.4 billion. She pours her wealth into the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas, of which she is the chairman. Alice is also a philanthropist who, along with a handful of other billionaires, has formed a political action committee to support the potential run of Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Bud's daughter Ann Walton Kroenke married Stan Kroenke. He owns Kroenke Sports Enterprises, which includes teams in the NBA, NHL, NFL and Major League Soccer.
Bushes have served in both the executive and legislative branches of the government. The family provided the country with two U.S. presidents and two state governors. The Bush family's net worth is estimated to be about $US60 million.
Because of their close ties to Texas, the Bushes are sometimes perceived simply as oil tycoons, but oil is just one industry in which the Bush family profited; the family is also prominent in the world of investment banking, starting with Samuel P. Bush, who helped found the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. During WWI his business ventures enabled him to lay the foundation for the family fortune.
Samuel's son Prescott became wealthy through finance, at Union Banking Corp., and through oil, as a board member of oil equipment company Dresser Industries, which is the company where his son George H.W. Bush got started. Dresser merged with Halliburton at the end of the 20th century.
George H.W. married Barbara Pierce, had six children -- Pauline, Neil, Marvin, Dorothy, John Ellis ('Jeb') -- and was elected president in 1988. His son George W. followed in 2000, but not before starting and selling the struggling Arbusto Energy company, among other successful ventures.
George W. had twin girls Barbara Pierce Bush and Jenna Bush Hager with his wife Laura Welch Bush, and just became a grandfather last year when Jenna gave birth to Margaret Laura ('Mila') Hager. Jenna serves as a special correspondent for NBC while dad George W. enjoys retirement as a grandpa and, recently, an artist.
White House veterans
A newer, yet still major, political family, the Clintons continue to extend their reach into the world of politics, advocacy, and philanthropy. Former President Bill Clinton was born William Blythe III; 'Clinton' came from his stepfather's last name. Bill wanted to be a musician before a chance meeting with JFK inspired him to go into politics.
Beginning as Arkansas Attorney General in 1976, and then governor in 1978, Bill eventually made his way into the White House in 1992 for two largely successful terms.
His wife Hillary Rodham Clinton, whom he met at Yale Law School, was both a lawyer and a teacher before taking the title of First Lady. She played a huge role as a supporter and advisor to Bill during his political career, while building her own. A major advocate for national health care reform and other public health issues, she was elected Senator of New York in 2000, and most recently served as U.S. Secretary of State. Her experience makes her a popular choice for the presidency in 2016.
The Clintons' daughter Chelsea follows lightly in her parents' footsteps as a special correspondent for NBC and an additional driving force behind their philanthropy, the Clinton Global Initiative. She and her husband are expecting their first child later this year who, if luck would have it, could make a name for him- or herself in politics as well.
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