Trending Topics

9 White Celebs, World Leaders Whose Families Owned Slaves

Anderson Cooper

A rule of thumb is: where there is old money, you will find some connection to slavery. So, of course, it wasn’t hard to determine that Anderson Cooper was connected, in a familial way, to slavery.  His bloodline is tied to the Vanderbilts, one of the richest families in American history. Cooper’s great-great-grandfather, Cornelius Vanderbilt – who was also Cooper’s cousin through inbreeding – was a tycoon who built his wealth from shipping and railroads. He also owned plantations: one, in particular, was in Georgetown, S.C., where Michelle Robinson Obama’s ancestor Jim Robinson, who was born a slave in 1850, worked.

David Cameron

The family of the current Prime Minister of Britain, David Cameron, benefited from the enslavement of African people. According to Dr. Nick Draper of University College London, as many as one-fifth of wealthy Victorian Britons inherited part or all of their fortunes from the slave economy. As a result, there are now wealthy families all around the U.K. still indirectly enjoying the proceeds of slavery they have inherited.  In addition to benefiting from slavery while it was legal in the British Empire, Cameron’s ancestors were given £4,101, equal to more than £3 million today ($4.7 million dollars), for the 202 black people they enslaved on the Grange Sugar Estate in Jamaica.

Back to top