By Blake Stilwell
We Are The Mighty
Celebrities are just like anyone else — they’re mammals and have family members. So, yes, they are just like you and me.
And that’s all Katy Perry has in common with you.
It seems unfair that even with their international fame, hordes of adoring fans, and millions of dollars, celebrities’ family members are often just as memorable to the history books as the celebrities themselves. If there were any real justice in this world, every celebrity relative would be like Roger Clinton, who got caught in a cocaine-related sting operation authorized by his brother, Bill. Or like Billy Carter, who used to pee on airport runways in front of the U.S. media.
Featuring the world’s most honest slogan.
But, no. Not only do celebrity relatives have all the trappings of stardom, but no one is out to embarrass them either. In fact, it only makes their lives seem that much better than our own.
1. Jim Morrison’s dad sparked the Vietnam War
Rear Admiral (Lower Half) George S. Morrison was spending just another day as the commander of American naval forces in the Gulf of Tonkin on Aug. 2, 1964. Aboard his flagship, the USS Bonhomme Richard, he received reports of an alleged torpedo attack from the North Vietnamese on the USS Maddox.
The Morrison Family. (Jim is far right).
Two days later, he received another report of a similar incident. He informed President Lyndon B. Johnson, who began to escalate the U.S. presence in Vietnam under the Gulf of Tonkin resolution — and the rest is history. Admiral Morrison did not think rock music was the best career for his son.
2. Pee-wee Herman’s dad helped Israel gain statehood
Obviously, Pee-wee is not the comedian’s real name. His name is Paul Reubens and his father’s name is Milton Rubenfeld. The elder Rubenfeld was also one of five American World War II pilots who flew fighter planes in Israel’s 1948 war for independence.
Pee-wee Herman’s dad, looking way cooler than you ever could.
Milton Rubenfeld was raised as an Orthodox Jew and his skills as a pilot were honed and hardened against the Nazi Luftwaffe over Europe. So, when every neighboring Arab country moved in to eradicate the would-be Israelis, five fighters took to the skies to give the nascent nation a fighting chance.
3. Chevy Chase’s grandfather turned the tide in the Pacific
Miles Browning, grandfather to Chevy Chase, was aboard the USS Enterprise during the WWII Battle of Midway — a battle that, essentially, ensured the Americans would win the war. Three irreplaceable Japanese aircraft carriers ended up at the bottom of the ocean that day and it was Capt. Browning’s “judicious planning and brilliant execution” (as Admiral Halsey would later write on Browning’s Distinguished Service Medal citation) that put them there.
Browning was a dive-bomber expert, so when the Japanese naval air forces were spotted at the extreme range of U.S. Task Force 16, it took expert guidance and planning to make sure the Navy’s best aviators could not only hit the Japanese carriers, but also make the trip home.