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Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Politician's Ancestors Made Strange Bedfellows

Sweden's new Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt has an enviable family tree. According to the Swedish tabloid Aftonbladet, his great-grandfather was the illegitimate son of a Latvian maid named Emma Dorothea Reinfeldt and John Hood—a circus director from New York with peculiar culinary habits.

John Hood was born around 1850 to a black mother and a governor from Borneo, if we are to believe the version put forward by a man who also claimed to be a cannibal and a connoisseur of dogs, cats and rats.

Reinfeldt's ancestor cut quite a dash on the Stockholm scene in the late 1880s and was said to be a great hit with the ladies. One newspaper, writing about Hood in 1880, describes him as, "an elegant vagabond with fine manners, a real dandy with a golden bracelet and a distinguished, stately appearance". [Link]

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