Every Living President But One Is Descended From Slave-Owners, Investigation Finds
Former U.S. President Donald Trump arrives to deliver remarks during the Georgia state GOP convention at the Columbus Convention and Trade Center on June 10, 2023 in Columbus, Georgia.
Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Former President Donald Trump is the only living president who is not directly descended from slave-holders, according to a recent genealogical study.

The study, undertaken by Reuters, determined that every living president except for Trump – including Joe Biden and former presidents Jimmy Carter, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and even Barack Obama through his white mother’s side — was the descendant of slave owners.

Of course, it should be noted that Donald Trump’s family came to the United States years after slavery was abolished. The former president’s grandfather, Friedrich Trump, came to the United States from Germany in 1885 — and his mother, Mary Anne McLeod, immigrated from Scotland in 1929.

Former presidents were not the only ones to be named in the outlet’s deep dive — they also looked at the number of members of Congress who had direct ancestral links to slave owners. According to the report, 100 of the 536 members of the last Congress were descended from slave owners — and some were among the most powerful and influential leaders in both parties.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR), Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), and Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) topped the list. Sitting Supreme Court Justices Amy Coney Barrett and Neil Gorsuch were also listed as being descended from slaveholders.

The report also took a deeper look at the state of South Carolina — where not only is Republican Governor Henry McMaster descended from slave owners, but every U.S. Representative and U.S. Senator has some ancestral tie to the institution of slavery. Republican Senator and presidential candidate Tim Scott is descended from slaves, as is Democratic Rep. Jim Clyburn. The remaining seven legislators — all of them white – are the direct descendants of slave owners.


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