Please upgrade your browser for the best Refinery29 experience. Read more.

Saved! Access Favorites in your account profile. Removed from my favorites

The Kardashians' Origin Story Is Not What You Thought

  1. Begin
    main
    Photo: Jim Smeal/REX Shutterstock.

    SHARE IT

    comments
    See All Slides
    These days, it's hard not to keep up with the Kardashians. They're everywhere. In fact, they've been so omnipresent in the public eye for such a long time now that it's hard to remember why they're a famous family in the first place.

    Origin story alert: The Kardashian Klan didn't just one day rise up out of obscurity and take over your newsfeed. Nor did they emerge from Paris Hilton's closet, groomed to be her successors to the plastic L.A. throne. Their domination was a process, one that literally began decades ago, before reality television really started its meteoric rise. And the person who got the ball rolling isn't actually the one we typically associate with Kardashian stardom.

    We're talking about Robert: father of Kourtney, Kim, Khloé, and Rob, ex-husband of Kris, and former lawyer and friend of a certain football star who was the defendant in the "trial of the century": O.J. Simpson. With Ryan Murphy's star-studded retelling of the Simpson case, The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, airing tonight on FX, many of us will be learning how the Kardashian name catapulted from obscurity onto prime-time TV. Recognizing the Kardashian patriarch's role is the key to understanding how the family was primed for limelight in the first place.

    So, let's start at the very beginning — a very good place to start — and take a look at the family's not-so-humble beginnings, to better understand how they became America's so-called other first family.

    Begin Slideshow
  2. Photo: Getty/Ron Galella.

    SHARE IT

  3. Photo: Vince Bucci.

    SHARE IT

  4. Photo: Getty/Maureen Donaldson.

    SHARE IT

  5. Photo: Getty/Donaldson Collection.

    SHARE IT

  6. Photo: Getty/Donaldson Collection.

    SHARE IT