From old money to venture capital, inherited skills to questionable talents, San Francisco is full of next-generation heirs, investors, influencers and politicians who grew up with a leg up in their chosen field—the nepotism babies of the Bay.
“Nepo babies” have been the talk of the town lately, after a viral Vulture article exposed some of Hollywood’s new stars and starlets as the offspring of well-connected stars.
While nepotism is alive and well in the San Francisco Bay Area, the city’s nepo babies look a little different than the lists circulating in Hollywood. In SF politics, media and business, it’s often a big, old family affair.
Dynasties like the Aliotos, Gettys and Pelosis have become adept at transforming family wealth, know-how—and know “who”—into successful public careers. And as the tech industry raises a new generation of nepo babies, heirs to Meta and Google and Twitter may be able to keep business (and power) in the family if their parents pass down control over their companies.
Whether you love-’em, hate ‘em or love to hate ‘em, here are the SF Bay Area nepo babies you should know.
Speaker emerita of the U.S. House of Representatives
Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi served as San Francisco’s congressional representative for nearly 36 years, but was an early nepo baby herself as the daughter of a Baltimore congressman and mayor. While she’s no doubt blazed her own trail as the first female speaker of the House, and one of the most dominant politicians of the modern era, she got an early education in the wily world of politics through her family.
- Christine Pelosi Nancy’s daughter grew up to be a nepo baby herself, becoming a political strategist, DNC electee, presidential elector and rumored candidate for her mother’s House seat.
- Alexandra Pelosi Nancy’s other daughter became a journalist and documentary filmmaker who has produced Emmy-nominated films about George W. Bush and her mother.
The storied Getty family first struck liquid gold in the oil industry, founding Getty Oil. This venture launched J. Paul Getty to the title of richest living American in the 1950s, and his descendants enjoyed a life of luxury well after his death. His son, Gordon Getty, is a composer who sold his father’s business for $10.1 billion in 1986, and his family has recently been in the news for its high-profile, high-$$$ dynastic drama. A notorious “Getty Curse” allegedly haunts the family, though descendants have enjoyed lucrative careers in media, business and philanthropy.
Ivy Getty Artist, model
- Great grand-daughter of J. Paul Getty, Ivy Love Getty made a splash in the San Francisco fashion scene in 2021, when Vogue covered her glamorous fantasy wedding, officiated by none other than Nancy Pelosi in City Hall. The heiress is now an artist and model, and rubs elbows with Hollywood’s biggest names, such as Anya Taylor-Joy, who served as a bridesmaid in her wedding.
August and Nats Getty Designers and stylists, LGBTQ+ activists
- The two Getty siblings are growing names in the entertainment and fashion industry: Both August and Nats have clothing lines, and the latter Getty named their lifestyle brand, Strike Oil, in an homage to their family business. Both are queer, and Nats is married to famous trans socialite and YouTuber Gigi Gorgeous.
SF Board of Supervisors
Since the 1960s, there’s hardly been a year in which an Alioto family member didn’t hold a political office in San Francisco. The family’s trailblazing member was Joseph L. Alioto, the 36th mayor of SF. Alioto’s descendants and relatives populate a storied list of influential locals—and now, nepo babies—including numerous city supervisors. Angela is the former mayor’s daughter, and she once presided over the Board of Supervisors as its president. She is now a civil rights and anti-discrimination lawyer.
- Joe Alioto-Veronese Angela’s son is an attorney and City Hall veteran who unsuccessfully ran for SF district attorney in 2022.
- Michela Alioto-Pier Niece of Angela and granddaughter of Joseph, Michela was twice elected District 2 Supervisor.
Newsom is the son of a state appeals court judge and is a fourth-generation San Franciscan with family ties to Stanford, the Pelosi family and Getty Oil. Newsom was raised in Marin but kept his SF family connections strong, first launching a career as a restaurateur and later as a city supervisor and mayor. Newsom’s father was a political heavyweight in SF but, more importantly, one of Gordon Getty’s best friends—a connection that established key inroads with the powerful Californians who would help the younger Newsom ascend to the state’s gubernatorial throne. Included in the list of storied elites that have backed Newsom are the Gettys, Guggenheims, Pritzkers and Fishers.
Dubbed the “scion of a Silicon Valley investing dynasty,” billionaire Tim Draper followed in daddy’s footsteps to become a prominent venture capitalist whose portfolio includes everything from Tesla to Bitcoin and Theranos. Tim’s father, William Henry Draper III, was said to bring his son to famous Silicon Valley cafes, introducing him to Yahoo execs and laying the groundwork for his future career. It’s a family business: His children are also high-profile venture capitalists.
Chairperson of The Gap
Fisher is the chair and director of SF-based retail giant The Gap Inc. Though he worked his way up from store manager to top dog at the company, it certainly helped that his parents co-founded The Gap in 1969. A prominent art collector like his mom and dad, Fisher has been heavily involved in the local art scene, serving as a major benefactor and trustee to the SF Museum of Modern Art. His brother, John J. Fisher, also did well for himself: He owns the Oakland A’s baseball team.
Prolific founder Neal Khosla is the son of Vinod Khosla, a billionaire venture capitalist whose investment portfolio includes everything from software companies to DoorDash and Instacart. Vinod Khosla famously stated in 2012 that technology will replace 80% of doctors in the future—and his son Neal seems to have taken this advice to heart, serially co-founding numerous health-tech companies in the SF Bay Area.
Right-wing political commentator
Right-wing media pundit Tucker Carlson was born in the Mission but adopted a political ethos far different from his hometown roots. Carlson perhaps inherited his penchant for communications from his father, who told him to consider journalism because “they’ll take anybody.” Carlson’s father was a former reporter and comms specialist who once ran for mayor in San Diego, and eventually remarried an heiress with frozen dinner fortunes.
NBA point guard
Though he’s undoubtedly a uniquely talented mega-star in his own right, Golden State Warriors point guard—and king of three-point shots—Steph Curry was born into an NBA family. His father, Dell Curry, played basketball with the Charlotte Hornets, and Steph spent his childhood training with his younger brother Seth, also an NBA star today.
NBA shooting guard
Much like his fellow “Splash Brother” Steph, shooting guard Klay Thompson is the son of an NBA star, Mychal Thompson. Klay’s dad was the first pick in the 1978 NBA draft and a longtime player with the Los Angeles Lakers. With two NBA championships under his belt, Thompson’s father cast a long shadow for Klay—who would go on to beat his father’s record, scooping up four championships with the Warriors and becoming one of the best shooters in league history. Klay’s mother was also a college athlete who played volleyball, as was Steph Curry’s mom.
Summer Tompkins Walker
Bay Area socialite
Socialites are a special breed of nepo baby: Their careers tend to bank on their family name, wealth and the ties they share with other elites. Summer Tompkins Walker is no exception. Her mother is one of Hillary Clinton’s best friends, and her parents co-founded the North Face and Esprit. But Tompkins Walker might have a bit of a bone to pick with her late father: Tompkins Walker tried to sue her father’s estate after he cut his kids out of his will and donated his land to create national parks in Chile and Argentina.
Daughter of SF native and icon Carlos Santana, Stella Santana followed in her father’s footsteps to become an R&B vocalist, producer and songwriter. She grew up in Marin County before relocating to New York and has been called a “soul child born into greatness” for her family ties.
Filmmaker and producer
Ellison is the daughter of Oracle CEO and co-founder Larry Ellison and was raised in bougie Atherton. Megan founded production company Annapurna Pictures, which takes a “Silicon Valley style” approach to filmmaking, investing big $$ into high-risk, original scripts. Her production credits include Zero Dark Thirty and Her.
Austin Hills Jr.
Local coffee scion
It feels weird including Hills in this list since he hasn’t actually accomplished much in the local political scene. But his attempt to run for district attorney this past fall raised some eyebrows, especially since Hills hadn’t realized he needed to be a lawyer to qualify. He is a descendant of the historic Hills Bros. coffee dynasty, which found its footing in SF in the 1800s.
Liz Lindqwister can be reached at [emailprotected]