Stephen Hess, author of "America's Political Dynasties" (Brookings, 2015), is often asked "which dynasty is the greatest?"

To try to answer this question objectively, he invented “The Greatness Scale.” It measures the depth and breadth of American political families, not necessarily their importance. The Harrisons and the Roosevelts, for instance, each produced two presidents, yet history does not weigh them equally.

Hover over portraits
family in power

The scale uses a simple mathematical formula to gauge three key elements: succession (number of generations in office), family (number of members in office), and power (offices held). According to the scale: 

An additional point is given for each dynasty member who serves in one of these jobs. A point is also given for each generation represented. For example: The six Kennedys and one Fitzgerald (maternal relatives count) elected to national office, spread over four generations, gives the family 11 bonus points.

Learn more about "America's Political Dynasties" and buy your own copy »