- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Jenna Bush Hager and Barbara Bush, the twin daughters of former President George W. Bush and former first lady Laura Bush, and the granddaughters of former President George H.W. Bush, celebrate their 30th birthday on Nov. 25th. This week, The List looks at some notable twins in history.

  • The Bush twins — Barbara Pierce Bush (1981-), the elder of the twins, is a graduate of Yale University and the co-founder of Global Health Corps, which offers health care needs in the developing world. Jenna Bush Hager is married to Henry Chase Hager and is a teacher’s aide, an author, a correspondent for NBC’s “Today” show and an advocate of volunteerism.
  • The Kray brothers Ronnie (1933–1995) and Reggie Kray (1933–2000) were notoriously violent gangsters who dominated London’s East End in the 1950s and 1960s and mixed with prominent entertainers. Both ultimately were sentenced to life imprisonment.
  • The Siamese twins — The most famous set of identical, conjoined twins were Chang and Eng Bunker, who originated the term “Siamese Twins.” Eng and Chang were born in Thailand on May 11, 1811. The twins came to America and settled in Wilkesboro, N.C., as farmers and took the name Bunker. They married Adelaide and Sarah Ann Yates. Eng, who married Sarah, fathered six boys and five girls; Chang, who married Adelaide, had seven daughters and three sons. In January 1874, Chang Bunker died of bronchitis, and Eng died shortly afterward.
  • The rich twins — The fraternal Olsen twins, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, are the youngest twins to become famous, and probably the richest in the world. The twins, born in 1986, began their acting careers at the age of 9 months on the television series “Full House,” which ran until 1995. The twins later began merchandising their image and now are reported to be worth more than $100 million.
  • Singing twins — Evan and Jaron Lowenstein are identical twins who performed as Evan and Jaron, and wrote the pop song “Crazy for This Girl,” which peaked at No. 15 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 2000.
  • Cleopatra’s twins — Alexander Helios (40 B.C.) and Cleopatra Selene II were the fraternal twins of Egyptian queen Cleopatra and Roman general Mark Antony, who killed themselves when the twins were 9. After their parents’ death, Caesar Augustus celebrated his military triumph in Rome by parading the twins in heavy golden chains. Cleopatra Selene II later married African King Juba II of Numidia, and eventually ruled Mauritania. Alexander’s fate is unknown.
  • Gridiron twins — Ronde and Tiki Barberplayed college football at Virginia. Tiki, 36, was a running back for the New York Giants from 1997-2006. Ronde has been a cornerback with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers since 1997.
  • Pop punk twins — Born in Waldorf, Md., in 1979, identical twins Benji and Joel Madden are members of the pop punk band Good Charlotte. The band’s breakout single was “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous,” which reached a peak position of No. 20 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100.
  • Soccer twins — Probably the most famous twins in the world of soccer are Brazilian defenders Fabio Pereira da Silva (born July 9, 1990) and his brother Rafael. The twins play for Manchester United of the English Premier League. They signed with the 19-time English champion in 2007.
  • Tallest twins — Claire and Ann Recht, former volleyball players at American University in the District, are the tallest living female twins, at 6 feet 7 inches, according to the Guinness Book of Records.
  • Elvis — Elvis Presley had a twin brother, Jesse Garon, who died at birth
  • Biblical twins The most famous twins in history, Jacob and Esau, were the sons of Isaac and Rebekah and the grandsons of Abraham. Jacob, the youngest, fought with an angel to win the name Israel, and later won over his brother Esau, who threatened to kill him. Jacob’s 12 sons became the 12 tribes of Israel.
  • Mythical twins — According to Roman myth, Romulus and Remus were divinely fathered twins who were suckled by a she-wolf and went on to found the city of Rome.
  • Robin and Maurice Gibb — The Gibbs twins, Robin and Maurice, along with elder brother Barry, made up the musical group the Bee Gees, one of the most successful pop groups of all time.Maurice died on Jan. 12, 2003, after complications resulting from a twisted intestine at the age of 53. Robin, 61, and his son RJ are writing the “Titanic Requiem,” which will be released to mark the Titanic centenary in 2012.
  • Advising twins — Identical twins Ann Landers and Abigail Van Buren became famous advice columnists. Ann, born Esther “Eppie” Pauline Friedman, wrote the “Ask Ann Landers” column from 1955 until her death in 2002. Her younger sister, Abigail, 93, who was bornPauline Phillips, began the “Dear Abby” column in 1956. It is now written by her daughter Jeanne Phillips.

Compiled by John Haydon
Sources: cojoweb.com, Wikipedia and The Washington Times.