It has been hypothesized that some antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) found in pathogenic bacteria derive from antibiotic-producing actinobacteria. Here we provide bioinformatic and experimental evidence supporting this hypothesis. We identify genes in proteobacteria, including some pathogens, that appear to be closely related to actinobacterial ARGs known to confer resistance against clinically important antibiotics. Furthermore, we identify two potential examples of recent horizontal transfer of actinobacterial ARGs to proteobacterial pathogens.