George Clooney’s political activism and interests are finally explained. Turns out, the actor is a descendant of Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States.
More accurately, he’s Honest Abe’s distant cousin.
In yet another Ancestry study seeking to link celebrities and politicians of the now to historically significant movements and figures of the past, a link between Abraham Lincoln and George Clooney was found through a woman named Lucy Hanks.
“We noticed there were similarities between the names and places of Abraham Lincoln’s tree and George Clooney’s tree,” says Michelle Ercanbrack of Ancestry.com. “They both have deep roots in Kentucky, so once we honed in on that we were able to find a connection between the two.”
“Clooney is the half-first cousin five times removed from Lincoln, the 16th president. The genealogy website breaks down the connection, explaining the ‘half’ means that two of their ancestors were half-siblings – Lincoln’s mother Nancy Hanks was the half-sister of Clooney’s 4th great-grandmother Mary Ann Sparrow.
“Hanks and Sparrow shared the same mother, Lucy Hanks, but had different fathers. Lucy Hanks was Lincoln’s maternal grandmother as well as the 5th great-grandmother of Clooney.
“Clooney’s aunt was singer and actress Rosemary Clooney, who died in 2002.”
“Maybe they’re not two men you’d originally put together, but we’ve found some interesting similarities,” Ercanbrack said. “They’re both human rights advocates … Both are excellent writers … And obviously both have the talent of being able to grow a really great beard.”
Clooney is well-known for his political activism, particularly regarding people living around the world in various forms of political or economic bondage. He has also been a longtime supporter of President Barack Obama, having most recently hosted a fundraiser that raised $15 million for Obama’s re-election campaign.
Lincoln, a Republican, is often considered one of the greatest presidents in US history. He is credited with abolishing slavery, one of the most significant events in American history concerning civil rights.
Interestingly, Clooney is reportedly not yet aware of his familial relation to Lincoln, reports People.
Though Clooney isn’t aware of the connection just yet, “I’d love to hear his reaction,” Ercanbrack says. “I’d like to hear what being related to this iconic American President would mean to him.”
Probably quite a bit. If nothing else, Clooney might at least be in the front row when Lincoln, the Steven Spielberg biopic about the 16th president, opens next week.