Even if you’re a certified pop culture junkie, you may find yourself asking why are the Kardashians famous. Oddly enough, there’s no short answer to this question. The younger Kardashians seem to fall under the quintessential “famous for being famous” category, but if you examine their pedigree in detail, their notoriety stems from some unlikely sources.
Robert Kardashian. Whether you love or hate the Kardashians, you can indirectly blame O.J. Simpson as the reason why. When Simpson was put on trial for homicide, he assembled a “dream team” of high-powered lawyers for the ensuing court battle. Attorney Robert Kardashian first gained fame as part of Simpson’s defense team, eventually beating the charges in one of the most high-profile trials of the century. Kardashian and his wife, Kris, had four children during their 11-year marriage: Kourtney, Kim, Khloe and Robert, Jr.
Bruce and Kris Jenner. After divorcing Robert in 1989, Kris wed Olympic hero Bruce Jenner two years later. Jenner won gold in the decathlon at the 1976 games and became instantly famous, parlaying his notoriety into a series of TV appearances, speaking gigs, books and advertisements. When they wed, the Jenners became a Brady Bunch-style coupling, adding Bruce’s children Burt, Brody, Brandon and Casey to the brood. Bruce and Kris would eventually add another pair of children, Kendall and Kylie.
Kim Kardashian. Likely the strongest reason why the Kardashians are famous, Kim turned her privileged socialite status into an armload of successful business ventures. Her journey into the pop culture consciousness began with the premiere of the TV show “Keeping Up with the Kardashians.” Beginning in 2007, this reality program chronicled the day-to-day life of the Kardashian household. Playing off the success of the show, Kim and her ample backside began a modeling career, appearing in countless print and TV advertisements. Her most infamous credit, however, came in the form of a 2007 sex tape with former boyfriend and hip-hop artist Ray J.
Kourtney and Khloe. Not to be outdone, Kim’s sisters have their own claims to fame. Stemming from their “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” success, Kourtney and Khloe have earned modeling work of their own. The pair even managed to land a spin-off show, 2009’s “Kourtney and Khloe Take Miami,” which followed the girls as they opened a clothing store in the city.
The extended family. The Kardashian clan seems to be gaining famous associations by the minute. Kim and Khloe married NBA players Kris Humphries and Lamar Odom, respectively, while Kourtney gave birth to a son, Mason, in 2009. These new additions should ensure that people will be asking why are the Kardashians famous for years and years to come.