#3. The Curies
The Famous One:
Marie Curie was the first person to win two Nobel Prizes in two different disciplines, the first female professor at the University of Paris and the single most important figure in the study of radiation. She later died horribly of radiation poisoning.
Keeping radioactive isotopes in your desk drawer will do that.
The Curies just kept winning freaking Nobel Prizes. Marie's daughter Irene Joilot-Curie bagged a Nobel for discovering that we can actually create elements in a lab instead of having to go out and mine them. You know how, back in the really olden days, alchemists used to think they could turn lead into gold? Yeah, Curie's daughter figured out how to do that.
Some people play God. Others outdo Him.
Meanwhile, her sister, Eve, the intellectual black sheep of the family, decided to become a reporter instead of a physicist. But not just any reporter -- she did it Curie style, visiting some of the most dangerous places in the world as a war correspondent before volunteering in the Medical Corps, because apparently being a war correspondent was too dull. Then she dedicated the rest of her life to working with her husband to help children through UNICEF -- a career that won him the Nobel Peace Prize.
"Hey, Roosevelt Jr.! Tell your dad the family has finished work on his chassis."
Meanwhile, Irene's children continue to make us all look like failures. Helene is a nuclear research scientist who advises France on how to handle anything radioactive, while Pierre, a biologist, is Director of Research for the French National Center of Scientific Research. By the way, the Curies hold the most Nobel Prizes out of any family. At this point they're just handing it out to them by default.
"Oh look, you're standing unaided -- have an Emmy."
#2. The Norgays
The Famous One:
As we've mentioned before, Tenzing Norgay is one of history's most underappreciated badasses. Despite an equal claim to fame, Norgay has been ignored in the West in favor of his more relatable (read: white) partner, Sir Edmund Hillary. So is it any shock that his offspring have been ignored as well?
"Hahaha! When the fog closes in you're going straight over that cliff!"
With his three (simultaneous) wives, Norgay fathered a whole gaggle (troupe? squadron? murder?) of Sherpas, the most notable of whom is his son Jamling. Following, and eventually outdoing, his father's legacy, Jamling climbed Everest twice. To highlight the badassery of this, in 1996 during his first ascent, 12 climbers died. So he made the completely rational decision to go right back up there in 2002.
"Hey, Hilary Jr., wasn't it great when you almost slipped off that ridge but regained your balance?"
However, Tenzing's most successful relative was his nephew Nawang Gombu. At 16, Gombu accompanied his uncle on his famous expedition. At 16, we were accompanying our uncle to our grandparents' house. And bitching about it.
Oh, and remember how we said Jamling climbed Everest twice? Well, Gombu was the first person to accomplish this; a feat which would go unmatched for almost 20 years. He was also the youngest Sherpa to reach 26,000 feet, as well as only the third man to ever summit the incredibly difficult Nanda Devi. During his life, Gombu was awarded the Tenzing Norgay Lifetime Achievement Award, an Olympic gold medal and a Tiger's Medal (which itself earned the Coolest Named Medal Medal).
"Finally got rid of the bastards."
#1. The Roosevelts
The Famous One:
Former President Teddy Roosevelt. We think he's kind of manly.
Let's start with the only son of a president to be the namesake of a Muppet: Kermit Roosevelt.
Kermit started his career in badassery by going on a lengthy journey up the Amazon with his dad, presumably to find something Teddy hadn't killed yet and then kill it. It went disastrously wrong, and it turned into a rescue mission to get Teddy out of the jungle before it killed him. Kermit's task: save his father from the terrifying wilderness, plus the rest of the party, and stop his dad from killing himself with a vial of morphine he had in his pocket. Oh, and he also had malaria and refused to take any medication, giving it all to his dad.
This is the man Teddy Roosevelt called when shit got too real.
They survived, and Kermit went on to fight in both world wars.
His brother Theodore Roosevelt II, meanwhile, also served in two world wars, racking up a distinguished Service Cross, a Silver Star and a freaking Medal of Honor, which he got by bugging his superiors into leading the first assault at Normandy. Once there, he pretty much strolled around like it was a rainy day despite being in his 50s and having lots of Germans trying desperately to kill him. He died during the war, but not because of the Germans: He had a heart attack, as there is only so much masculinity a human heart can endure.
That means his heart alone was deadlier than the entire Wehrmacht.
Let's not forget the youngest of the Roosevelt boys, Quentin. He died in World War I, but was such a masterful fighter pilot that the people he was fighting -- the Germans -- buried him with full military honors after he was shot down over their territory. In short, we're pretty sure that all three of them jumped out of the womb with a bayonet between their teeth and punched the doctor in the dick for daring to touch their mother.
We expect his whole family tree was bada -- awwwww.
Read more from CK at The Backroom.
For more complete badasses, check out The 5 Most Badass (And Possibly Insane) Athletes Of All-Time and 5 Authors More Badass Than The Badass Character They Created.