Former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld has spent nearly his entire life around powerful Republican politicians.

So imagine his surprise when he learned that his birth certificate bears the John Hancock of one of the 20th century's most powerful Democrats: the late Chicago Mayor and Democratic party boss Richard J. Daley.

Rumsfeld revealed the surprise connection on Tuesday during a speech at the Heritage Foundation, where he told an audience, "The other day I looked at [my birth certificate], and it said it was signed by the Clerk of Cook County, [Ill.]. Whose name was Richard J. Daley."

Daley served as mayor of the Windy City from 1955 until his death in 1976, and he was influential in shaping the modern Democratic party. Daley's eldest son, Richard M. Daley, followed in his father's footstep's as Chicago's mayor for 22 years. His youngest son, William M. Daley, is chief of staff to President Obama. 

The news of Rumsfeld's early brush with an uber-politician was particularly timely on Tuesday, as Chicago voters took to the polls to elect their next mayor.