Birth Name: Dennis John Kucinich
Place of Birth: Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.
Date of Birth: October 8, 1946
Dennis Kucinich is an American politician. A member of the Democratic Party, he served as the 53rd Mayor of Cleveland, Ohio, from January 26, 1978 to November 6, 1979, and a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Ohio, from January 3, 1997 to January 3, 2013.
Dennis is the son of Virginia Ann and Frank Joseph Kucinich. He is married to British organic food and vegan advocate Elizabeth Kucinich (born Elizabeth Jane Harper). He is the father of reporter Jackie Kucinich, with his former wife, Sandra Lee McCarthy.
Dennis’s paternal grandfather was named John Kucinich (the son of Joseph Kucinich and Anna). John was Croatian.
Dennis’s paternal grandmother was named Mary Kaputa (the daughter of John Kaputa and Anna). Mary was born in Pennsylvania, to Croatian parents.
Dennis’s maternal grandfather was William Joseph Norris (the son of William Norris and Mary E. Gibbons). Dennis’s grandfather William was born in Ohio, to Irish parents, his father from Limerick and his mother from Mayo. Mary E. was the daughter of Miles Gibbons and Ellen Fitzpatrick.
Dennis’s maternal grandmother was Alice Loretta/Luretta Cowan (the daughter of Thomas Cowan and Alice Walsh). Dennis’s grandmother Alice was born in Hastings, Ontario, Canada, the granddaughter of Irish immigrants. Thomas was the son of Michael Cowan and Honora Crowley. Dennis’s great-grandmother Alice was the daughter of James Walsh and Alice Lynch or Maher/Meagher.
Dennis is one of several people of significant Slavic ancestry to have run a plausible or semi-plausible campaign for a major party’s nomination for President of the United States. Of these candidates, four won a major party’s caucus and/or primary. The four are:
*Harold Stassen (Republican; in 1944, he won 1 state, Nebraska; in 1948, he won 4 states; in 1952, he won 1 state, Minnesota; Stassen also sought the 1964, 1968, 1976, 1980, 1984, 1988, and 1992 Republican nominations; Stassen’s paternal grandmother was Czech)
*Edmund Muskie (1972; Democratic; won 4 states; Muskie was previously the 1968 Democratic nominee for Vice President of the United States; he was of Polish descent)
*Tom Harkin (1992; Democratic; won 1 state, Iowa; Harkin’s mother was of Slovene descent)
*John Kasich (Republican; ran in 2000 and 2016: in 2016, he won 1 state, Ohio; Kasich is of Czech or Rusyn, and Croatian descent)
Other people of significant Slavic ancestry who have mounted plausible or semi-plausible campaigns for a major party’s nomination for President of the United States are:
*George H. Bender (who sought the 1960 Republican nomination; Bender was of Czech descent)
*James Traficant (who sought the 1988 Democratic nomination; Traficant’s mother was of Slovak descent)
*Gary Johnson (who sought the 2012 Republican nomination, and was the Libertarian Party’s 2012 and 2016 nominee for President of the United States; Johnson’s mother was of Ukrainian descent)
*Tim Pawlenty (who sought the 2012 Republican nomination; Pawlenty’s father was of Polish descent)
*Amy Klobuchar (who sought the 2020 Democratic nomination; Klobuchar’s father was of Slovene descent)
*Joe Sestak (who sought the 2020 Democratic nomination; Sestak’s father was of Slovak descent)
*Perry Johnson (who sought the 2024 Republican nomination; Johnson’s mother was of Rusyn and Slovak descent)
Sources: Genealogy of Dennis Kucinich – https://www.geni.com
Dennis’s mother on the 1930 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org
Dennis’s maternal grandparents, William Joseph Norris and Alice Loretta/Luretta Cowan, on the 1920 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org