Weird History

Here Are The Modern Descendants Of History's Most Famous Assassination Victims  

Stephan Roget
2.6k views 11 items

Relatives of famous historical figures have to deal with profound ancestral pressure and expectations, which is doubly true for those who have descended from famous assassination victims. For instance, the children and grandchildren of former presidents have had to sustain a powerful political legacy, while assassinated presidents' descendants must take on an unfinished legacy. The murders of notable historical figures have impacted both the victim's family members and the world at large, as some expect the surviving relatives to continue their loved one's story. Many of these individuals understandably shirk the spotlight, but others endeavor to make their own mark in history.

Martin Luther King, Jr. is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Here Are The Modern Descendants Of History's Most Famous Assassination Victims
Photo:  Library of Congress/Flickr/YouTube

Martin Luther King Jr. left behind a legacy of world-changing activism. After James Earl Ray fatally shot MLK on April 4, 1968, the late minister's descendants continued the ongoing struggle for civil rights. Similar to her father, Bernice King is a politically active minister who is unafraid to speak out against injustice. Bernice is the CEO of the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change and has made the news several times for sharing her opinion on President Donald Trump and his administration.

The King legacy of political activism also extends to the newest generation, as MLK's granddaughter, Yolanda King, roused the nation with her speech at 2018's March for Our Lives. Speaking to a crowd assembled in Washington, DC, to advocate gun control, Yolanda said, "My grandfather had a dream that his four little children would not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character. I have a dream that enough is enough. That this should be a gun-free world. Period."

More Martin Luther King, Jr.

#73 of 382 on The Greatest American Writers of All Time #11 of 2858 on The Most Influential People of All Time featuring The Best Martin Luther King, Jr. Quotes The Best Martin Luther King Jr. Movies, Ranked

see more on Martin Luther King, Jr.
Mahatma Gandhi is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Here Are The Modern Descendants Of History's Most Famous Assassination Victims
Photo:  Wikimedia Commons/Brown University/Wikimedia Commons

Mahatma Gandhi, who led the Indian independence movement against Britain, left a massive impact on India. Given Gandhi's role in ending British colonial rule, it's fitting that one of his great-granddaughters, Leela Gandhi, is an academic in the field of postcolonial theory. She has written extensively on the subject and is a professor at the Watson Institute at Brown University.

One of Gandhi's great-grandsons took a different approach to historiography. Tushar Gandhi made waves when he published a book, Let’s Kill Gandhi, about his great-grandfather's 1948 fate. Though history says Nathuram Godse assassinated Gandhi, Tushar's book presents a conspiracy theory about a group of Brahmins who had planned the hit. Most historians disagree with his arguments, but Tushar has continued to push for a re-opening of the investigation.

More Mahatma Gandhi

#15 of 2858 on The Most Influential People of All Time #24 of 25 on Famous People From History You Had No Idea Were Hot featuring The Best Mahatma Gandhi Quotes The Best Movies About Gandhi, Ranked

see more on Mahatma Gandhi
Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Au... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Here Are The Modern Descendants Of History's Most Famous Assassination Victims
Photo:  Wikimedia Commons/Anthony Bailey Consulting

On June 28, 1914, Gavrilo Princip assassinated Archduke Franz Ferdinand, whose death sparked World War I. Though the Austro-Hungarian Empire no longer exists, Ferdinand's descendants are still Austrian royalty. One descendant is Princess Marie-Therese von Hohenberg; she made news when she married prominent diplomatic consultant Anthony Bailey and moved to London with him.

They enjoyed a three-day wedding ceremony in 2007. Today, the couple leads a life of luxury together.

More Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria

#15 of 19 on Interesting Historical Photos We Wish Our Teachers Showed Us #10 of 12 on Here Are 12 Historical Hoarders Who Took "Collecting" To The Next Level #1 of 12 on The 12 Most Influential Royal Assassinations In World History featuring 7 Insane Facts About the Absurd Circumstances of Franz Ferdinand's Assassination

see more on Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria
John Lennon is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Here Are The Modern Descendants Of History's Most Famous Assassination Victims
Photo:  Wikimedia Commons/Wikimedia Commons/Wikimedia Commons

Being the son of a Beatle might carry insurmountable expectations, but both of John Lennon's sons have followed in their father's footsteps into the music industry. Julian Lennon is the eldest child from John's first marriage. The two had a complicated relationship, which continued beyond John's 1980 assassination. Paul McCartney has said Julian was the inspiration behind "Hey Jude;" at the time, Julian's parents were divorcing, and McCartney wanted to hearten the boy. After his father's death, Julian established himself as a talented musician, earning a Grammy nomination in 1985 for Best New Artist.

John and Yoko Ono's son Sean Lennon was only 5 when Mark David Chapman fatally shot his father. Sean still collaborates regularly with his mother, and some consider his musical style more eccentric than Julian's. Though Sean hasn't enjoyed the same success as his brother, he remains active as the lead singer of a band named The Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger.

More John Lennon

#13 of 1120 on The Best Singers of All Time #30 of 2176 on The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time featuring 28 Facts You Didn't Know About John Lennon Bet You Didn't Know John Lennon May Have Been An Abusive Jerk

see more on John Lennon