Captains and the Kings is a 1972 historical novel by Taylor Caldwell chronicling the rise to wealth and power of an Irish immigrant, Joseph Francis Xavier Armagh, who arrives penniless as a teenager in the United States of America. An inter-generational saga focusing on the themes of the American dream, discrimination and bigotry in American life, and of history as made by a cabal of the rich and powerful, it was one of the top 10 best-sellers of 1972, as ranked by The New York Times Best Seller list. Caldwell drew heavily on aspects of the Kennedy family, John D. Rockefeller and Howard Hughes.
The book was adapted into an eight-part television miniseries by NBC in the 1976 broadcast season, starring Richard Jordan, Charles Durning, Blair Brown, David Huffman, Patty Duke and a star-laden supporting cast. Duke won an Emmy Award for her performance. Jordan won a Golden Globe award and an Emmy nomination for his performance. Durning was nominated for both an Emmy and a Golden Globe. Beverly D’Angelo made her debut. Cinematographer Ric Waite won his only Emmy Award for his work on the miniseries.