'Faces of America' Traces Famous Genealogy

George Stephanopoulos and other famous people discover interesting ancestors.

ByABC News via GMA logo
January 29, 2010, 9:17 AM

Jan. 29, 2010— -- You've seen them on the big screen, on television or in the anchor's chair, but where do America's most prominent people come from?

That's the question scholar Henry Louis Gates set out to answer in a new series appropriately called "Faces of America," which traces the genealogy of famous Americans.

Gates appeared today on "Good Morning America" to talk about the show and give co-host George Stephanopoulos a big surprise about his own lineage: He could be distantly related to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Stephanopoulos, who submitted to DNA testing, learned that there is a relatively rare trait in his genetic code known as Group X; a trait that genealogists believe Clinton shares.

It is "very likely" the two are distant maternal cousins, according to genetic-testing company 23andMe of Mountain View, Calif.

Stephanopoulos laughed on hearing the news and promised Clinton that it was not a setup.

"I feel fantastic to have a cousin Hillary," he said.