As the Murdochs can attest, keeping it in the family can be the source of bad blood— and even worse sequels

As the Murdochs can attest, keeping it in the family can be the source of bad blood— and even worse sequels

Great Moments in Nepotism

Nepotism at its Best
Nepotism at its Best

As the Murdochs can attest, keeping it in the family can be the source of bad blood— and even worse sequels

The Waltons
The Waltons

Upon Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton’s death in 1992, five members of his family vaulted onto the list of 10 richest Americans, where they would remain for the next 13 years. Two sons now serve on the company’s board; the eldest, Rob, is chairman. Meanwhile, his daughter, Alice, founded an impressive American art museum in the Ozarks. Together, the Waltons own more than 1.6 billion shares of the $405 billion family business.

The Coppolas
The Coppolas

In true Corleone fashion, The Godfather director Francis Ford Coppola cast his daughter Sofia as a newborn in the first film and a teenager in Part III. Son, Roman, played young Sonny Corleone in Part II, and sister, Talia Shire, played Connie. Father, Carmine, composed the scores for the films, and mother, Italia, played the corpse of Mama Corleone. Nephew Nicolas Cage snagged one of his first roles on Coppola’s Rumble Fish.

The Daleys
The Daleys

For 43 of the last 56 years, a Richard Daley has been Mayor of Chicago. The elder Daley (middle initial J.) made sure city contracts went to family and appointed his cousin as security chief. The younger Daley (M.), was first elected in 1989. Over the course of Richard M.’s first 10 years in office, according to the Chicago Tribune, at least 68 relatives had been on the city’s payroll, with combined salaries running into the millions.

The Buschs
The Buschs

The Busch clan anoints each new member with five droplets of Budweiser, dripped into the infant’s mouth. In the family’s case, beer may run thicker than blood: August Busch III ousted his father in a boardroom coup in 1973. For his leadership style, he earned the nickname “Crazy.” His playboy son, August Busch IV, was called “Lazy,” but his legacy may be the most lasting. In 2008 he sold the company to InBev for $52 billion.

The Bronfmans
The Bronfmans

Seagram heir (and songwriter) Edgar Bronfman Jr. was named CEO of the family business in 1994. He sold Seagram’s stake in DuPont for $9 billion to buy studio MCA/Universal and record label Polygram. Bronfman led Universal’s ill-advised $33 billion merger with Vivendi. He redeemed himself, buying Warner Music for $2.6 billion—then selling it for $3.3 billion. Edgar’s son Benjamin started an eco-friendly music label under Warner.

The Rin Tin Tins
The Rin Tin Tins

The original Rin Tin Tin was rescued by an American serviceman in France during World War I and brought to Hollywood, where he starred in radio and silent films. His son Rin Tin Tin Jr. followed in dad’s paw prints with such films as 1935’s The Adventures of Rex and Rinty. Rin Tin Tin III was tapped for 1947’s The Return of Rin Tin Tin, and Rin Tin Tin IV starred on TV’s The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin.

The Steinbrenners
The Steinbrenners

Steve Swindal was heir apparent to father-in-law George Steinbrenner’s Yankees empire until 2007, when his field of dreams ended after a drunk-driving charge and divorce from the Boss’s daughter, Jennifer. She’s now vice-chairperson, as are her mother and sister. Son Hank came in to oversee baseball operations as co-chairperson. Today it's Hank's brother, Hal, co-chairperson and managing general partner, who runs the show.