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15 Famous People Who Married Their Cousins

I know, the title is shocking in of itself! You would never expect a star to partake in marriage of a relative, but it is more common than you think. Some of these people are household names and you probably didn’t know the shocking revelation that they married their own cousin. Sometimes, I suppose you have to turn to your family to find your other half... as creepy as that may be. It’s not like there are billions of people in the world to choose from. These cases are a true testament to the notion that you can’t help who you fall in love with. A lot of these marriages were not from this century or in the past few decades – which would explain a lot. Back in the day, marrying your family members was a pretty common practice… weirdly. Today, it is illegal in most states. It still happens, but not nearly as much. You will never look at these celebrities the same:

15 Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip

No, it is not just on the TV series “Game of Thrones” that royal family sleeps together, it actually goes down in real life! Queen Elizabeth married her second cousin once removed, Prince Phillip. I guess they really want to keep the royal blood in the family. The reigning Queen married her prince in 1947. The royal couple met when she was just eight years old. They started exchanging love letters (TBT) when she was thirteen and he was eighteen. Philip asked Elizabeth’s dad for her hand in marriage, and the King approved, under one condition. They had to wait to become engaged until her 21st birthday. Apparently, the King wasn’t as concerned with the fact that they were blood related and rather that she was too young. That doesn’t come as a shock, considering the family has a long history of marrying each other – in true royal fashion. Their great-grandmother married her first cousin, as well.

14 Rudy Guliani

This revelation is not much of a surprise to me, TBH. Rudy Guliani is quite the weirdo in my opinion. People do refer him as a vampire, so it is no surprise that his marriage would be off-putting. The former mayor of NYC tied the knot with his second cousin in 1968. Second cousins is cutting it a little close, and it is hard to believe that they weren’t aware that they were blood relatives, considering they met during childhood. Guiliani has since defended his marriage, claiming that they were in fact “third cousins” or “second cousins once removed”, but does that make it much better? Nontheless, the marriage is completely legal. There are no restrictions in New York, even first cousins can wed. The two were married for fourteen years, and they had no children. Apparently, they annulled the marriage after discovering that they were cousins. We will leave it up to you to decide what to believe.

13 Albert Einstein

Another scientific genius indulging in some good ol' marrying within the family, fun. It is a worldwide fact that Einstein invented the theory of gravity, an idea that is now regarded as fact. You would think with the level of education and intellect that Einstein had, that he would know better than to partake in this kind of taboo activity - marrying your cousin. However, he was not exactly known for his social skills, as well as not being too concerned with what the outside world thought of him. After all, he was actually considered mad, stupid, and lazy in his era. His beloved bride was a first cousin on his moms’ side, but also a second cousin on his dads’ side as well. Say what? It was not his first marriage. What is even more bizarre is that her surname was Einstein. I guess there wasn’t much paperwork involved in changing her last name – so. weird.

12 Kevin Bacon

Kevin Bacon is a world renouned actor and has starred in some serious classics, including Footloose and A Few Good Men. He was also nominated for an academy award. Would you ever believe that his wife a family member of his? They have been together for over thirty years! They got married in 1988 and they share three children together. They met on a movie set of a play and have since starred in multiple productions together. They were unaware that they were related when they first crossed paths, but they are in fact 9th cousins. Although that is pretty well removed, it is still weird AF. The two discovered this via DNA test which was revealed during the PBS series “Finding Your Roots”. Not sure how I would feel if discovered that the love of my life was my relative – in a public setting no less! I would imagine that it would be pretty shocking.

11 Jerry Lee Lewis

The rock and roll star of the 1950’s has dropped many hits that are still heard over the radio today, including “Great Balls of Fire” and “Crazy Arms”. His talent was undeniable, and he had a few Grammy awards under his belt. He already married twice before deciding to marry his first cousin. What is even more disturbing is that his bride was only thirteen years old, and he was in his early twenties when they said “I do” ! Not surprisingly, the public was quite disgusted after discovering this revelation and his stardom soon came to an end. The bad press about his marriage was too much for his career to handle. He had minimal success after word got out, his performance fees fell from 10,000 per night to 250 dollars. Probably not the best idea to tie in marrying your family member and doing it against their will in together when you are famous. Clearly, it is not well received.

10 Edgar Allen Poe

Even in modern times, Edgard Allen Poe is considered one of the best poets of all time. Although he is best known for his poetry- he was also an author and editor. Most people recognize Poes’ name for his poem “The Raven”. It is still read and observed in schools all around the world today. Edgard Allen Poe’s work was quite dark and disturbing – he created the literary genre that is now known as “dark romantism”. The literary genius had quite the rough upbringing, so it is no surprise that his work reflected that. He was born in the 1800’s – a time where marrying people in your blood line was more common than it is today. He decided to wed his first cousin. She was 13 and he was 28. What is with the age 13? There is actually disagreement between historians regarding the nature of their relationship. It has been suggested that they viewed each other as brother and sister rather than lovers. WTF?

9 Saddam Hussein

The horrific dictator who was the mastermind behind 9/11 had a lot of wives, his very first being his first cousin Sajida Talfah. Her father is Hussein’s uncle. Hussein did a lot of awful things, so marrying his cousin is pale in comparison to his terrorist sadistic acts. The pairing was an arranged marriage, which is a common practice in Iraq and other middle eastern countries alike. Polygamy is also very common. While married to Salija, he wed two other women as well. Rumor has it that his first cousin/wife was not very happy with this. Hussein was a sociopath, so I doubt it phased him. In addition to three wives, Hussein also had multiple mistresses who have since come out telling horrific tales dealing with the terrorist. I can’t imagine that being married to him would be pleasant, either. Usually women have little to no say when it comes to arranged marriages, so his cousin probably didn’t have a choice one way or another.

8 Charles Darwin

Darwin didn’t accomplish much during his life, he just proved the theory of evolution. No big deal. This biologist was a genius and changed the path of science forever, but did you know that his spouse, Emma Darwin was his first cousin? It is quite ironic, because Darwin was well aware of the genetic risks that come with trying to conceive offspring with your cousin. Regardless of this fact, they had ten children together, three of which died at an early age. Darwin actually contributed his children’s premature deaths to the fact that him and his spouse were cousins. Quite a risk to take, I guess that he really loved her, and it seems that the feeling is mutual, Emma stood by his side throughout the years of Darwin battling intense illness. As his illness progressed, she nursed him relentlessly, ensuring that he never worked too hard or overextended himself.

7 Franklin Delano Roosevelt

That’s right – even one of our beloved presidents married his cousin! The man responsible for saving us from the Great Depression married his fifth cousin, once removed. They wed in the early 1900’s on St. Patricks’ Day. Eleanor raised four children while president Roosevelt pursued a career in politics. Although it seemed like a picture-perfect marriage, it was far from it. Eleanor was devastated when she found out that her husband was having an affair with his secretary. Tacky much? At least it wasn’t another family member. Roosevelt went onto being our commander in chief – for four terms! Something unheard of today. Although we are judging him just a little, FDR saved our economy and arguably – the country. He was known to be one of the greatest presidents of all time. What would have happened if we didn’t have him? We probably would have never recovered as a nation.

6 Thomas Jefferson

Seriously, even one of our founding fathers engaged in this kind of weird behavior? Unfortunately, it is true. Our third president, Thomas Jefferson, married his third cousin Martha Wayles in 1772. Wayles was a young widow when she met Jefferson, and they wed soon afterwards – when she was 19 and he was 22. They had six children together. Unfortunately, she died before she could see her hubby become president. Could this gross marriage be a possible explanation as to why we don’t use the two-dollar bill anymore? Not likely, because this is not the most horrific thing the President has done in his lifetime. He was infamously known for owning a huge plantation that hundreds of slaves worked on, inherited to them from their parents’ estate. Martha was reportedly a great caretaker, managing the whole plantation and being a great wife to Jefferson. Historians claim that the marriage was happy and peaceful.

5 John Sebastian Bach

Bach was arguably one of the most talented composers of all time. His work is still taught and played by pianists and musicians alike across the globe hundreds of years later. His symphonies are timeless, and will most likely be known and listened to until the end of human civilization. However, apparently no amount of talent prevents someone from eloping with their cousin. The musical genius married his third cousin, Maria Barbra Bach. The two were together until Maria suddenly passed away when she was just 35 years old. The fact that some of these wives’ maiden names is the same as their spouses is so bizarre in of itself. Martha and John had seven children, and only three of them survived. There seems to be a consistent pattern here, the children of "these" marriages either passed away or became extremely ill. It looks like the scientific evidence that conceiving offspring with a family member is true.

4 Jesse James

Jesse James was an American outlaw, bank robber, and the leader of a pro-confederate gang. He was one of the most infamous criminals of all time, a major figure of the Wild West. He was known by many as a somewhat embodiment of Robin Hood, although there is very little evidence that him or his gang shared what they stole to people in need. Because of this false persona, James had a lot of sympathy from the public despite his horrific and brutal crimes committed by him and his gang. Countless amounts of major pictures, books, comics, and even poems were based off or inspired by his life and his crimes. Not surprisingly, he did something pretty disgusting – harmonious with the other actions of his life. He married his FIRST cousin, Zereleda Amanda Mimms. I, personally, cannot imagine being married to an outlaw. Do you think she knew? Did she commit crimes with her? There is very little information about her, so the world may never know.

3 Christopher Robin Milne

Yes, THAT Christopher Robin, you know, the main character from the classic children’s’ books, Winnie The Pooh. Christopher was the author’s son IRL, and was the inspiration for the series. Christopher’s father also actaully gave him a teddy bear named Pooh, which went onto being Pooh that we all know and adore. In his adult life, Christopher said “I do” to his first cousin. His mother very much disliked this marriage, but not because they were cousins, but for her own selfish reasons. She didn’t get along with her brother – aka his wife’s father. You would think that she would disapprove because the two were related – not because of some family turmoil. You would also think that Christopher Robin would have his pick of the litter – being so famous. But like I mentioned before, fame does not stop one from marrying your cousin, apparently. I will never look at Christopher Robin the same again when I come across Winnie the Pooh books.

2 H.G. Wells

H.G. Wells is an author most known for his novels “The Time Machine” and “The War of the Worlds”. He is a legend in the sci-fi fiction genre. He was born over 150 years ago, and his work is still influential today. Wells was quite the odd character, but a genius nonetheless. He was way ahead of his time in many ways. First, he was part of many human rights groups and wrote many provisions that are still used in the United Nations today. He also predicted many inventions: such as nuclear weapons, mass surveillance, tanks, and even the World Wide Web! Pretty insane, right? The author was known for his somewhat “free-spirit” attitude when it came to sexuality, which was pretty much unheard of during his time. Wells married his first cousin Mary Wells – but the marriage was short-lived. He ended up falling in love with one of his students! Pretty cliché.

1 John F. Fitzgerald

Fitzgerald was a career politician, congressman, and the maternal grandfather of JFK, one of the most beloved presidents of all time, JFK was even named after his late grandfather. Looks like politics runs in the family! Fitzgerald’s story resembles the true American dream. He was born in 1863 to the son of poor Irish immigrants and they resided in the North End of Boston. Fitzgerald started his political career as the mayor of Boston and he helped establish many landmarks including Fenway Park! He is quite the legend here in Beantown. Grandpa John took a little dip in the genetic pool when he married his second cousin, Mary Josephine "Josie" Hannon. Do you think that JFK knew? JFK was known for his boy-scout demeanor, always wanting to do the right by everyone, so I can’t help but wonder if he would approve of his grandfather marrying his cousin: gross.

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