Portrait of the Loredan Family (1507), by Giovanni Bellini. Leonardo Loredan, 75th Doge of Venice, was a member of the Loredan family, one of Venice's most prominent political dynasties. His four sons, depicted in the painting, also held high political positions in the Republic of Venice.[1]

A political family (also referred to as political dynasty) is a family in which multiple members are involved in politics — particularly electoral politics. Members may be related by blood or marriage; often several generations or multiple siblings may be involved.

A royal family or dynasty in a monarchy is generally considered to not be a "political family," although the later descendants of a royal family have played political roles in a republic (such as the Arslan family of Lebanon). A family dictatorship is a form of hereditary dictatorship that operates much like an absolute monarchy, yet occurs in a nominally republican state.

United States

Main article: List of United States political families

In the United States, many political families (having at least two generations serving in political office) have arisen since the country's founding.


Four noted U.S. political families — Adams, Harrison, Roosevelt and Bush — have each had two members that served as President of the United States

Several presidential families produced multiple generations of members who devoted at least part of their working lives to public service.

Theodore Roosevelt and family
The Kennedys

Note 1: President Lincoln's great-grandmother, Abigail Harrison, was a member of the Shenandoah Valley branch of the Harrison family and was related to the James River branch that produced Presidents William Henry Harrison and Benjamin Harrison.

Note 2: President Lincoln and Levi Lincoln were fourth cousins; their great-great-grandfathers were brothers. Levi Lincoln served as a Massachusetts state legislator 1797–98, member of the U.S. House of Representatives 1800–01, U.S. attorney general and acting secretary of State in the Jefferson administration, lieutenant governor of Massachusetts 1807–08, and governor of Massachusetts 1808–09.

The Bush Family
The Trumps

Two other presidents were related by blood: James Madison and Zachary Taylor were second cousins. Other presidents were related by marriage: George Washington's nephew, George Steptoe Washington, was Madison's brother-in-law. Dwight Eisenhower's grandson, David Eisenhower, married Julie Nixon, a daughter of Richard Nixon.


The following political families are in the United States. For an extensive alphabetical list, see the article List of United States political families.

United Kingdom

Main article: List of political families in the United Kingdom

Joseph and Austen Chamberlain.


Main article: Political families of India

Other countries

Hoping to prevent political dynasties, the Indonesian parliament, which represents the third largest democracy in the world, passed a law barring anyone holding a major office within five years of a relative.[7]

See also


  1. ^ "LOREDAN, Leonardo in "Dizionario Biografico"" (in Italian). Treccani. Retrieved September 15, 2021.
  2. ^ KQED, General Article: The Kennedys in Politics
  3. ^ Feldmann, Linda (23 July 2014). "Hillary Clinton vs. Jeb Bush? Why Political Dynasties Might Make Sense. (+video)". The Christian Science Monitor. Archived from the original on 2014-03-26.((cite web)): CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  4. ^ "More than 40 politicians from political families to contest election". The Irish Times.
  5. ^ "FF election hopeful hits out at party dynasties". independent.
  6. ^ "BIOGRAFIA - Licenciado".
  7. ^ Solomon, Andrew (2015-07-18). "What's Wrong with Dynastic Politics?". The New Yorker. Retrieved 2017-02-05.