Who are John F. Kennedy’s Siblings?

John F. Kennedy's siblings

JFK’s Siblings and Family

Much is known about John F. Kennedy’s highly successful political career which ended abruptly in 1963. But who are John F. Kennedy’s siblings? And what do you know about JFK’s family? At the peak of his life accomplishments, JFK etched his name into history as America’s 35th President. Well, behind J.F. Kennedy, lies a great family foundation.

Today, we bring you an informative family profile of John F. Kennedy’s closest blood relations. The fact is that the former U.S. president and his siblings came from a politically-inclined family, known as the Kennedy family. Here is an overview of the great Kennedy family; the producers of America’s statesmen.

The Kennedy Family

The Kennedy Family

The Kennedys

Coming from Irish backgrounds, the first members of the Kennedy family set foot in America around 1849. After settling in America, it took only 35 years before the family started producing great political leaders for America.  Some prominent Kennedys went on to fill top positions in civil service, namely; senators, ambassadors, representatives, president, first ladies and so on.

In 1884, Patrick Joseph Kennedy opened American political doors for the future Kennedys when he got to serve the Massachusetts state as a legislator. About 33 years later, the most famous of the Kennedys and future president of the United States,  John F. Kennedy was born. He and his siblings were born to Joseph Kennedy Sr and Rose Elizabeth Fitzgerald.

All in all, the Kennedys would go on to consistently feature in politics, business, civil service, and entertainment. In the political arena, the Kennedy family is strongly affiliated with the Democratic Party. Also, a great deal of them are products of Harvard University, located in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

JFK quotes

Siblings of John F. Kennedy

John F. Kennedy was his parents’ second child. He had 3 brothers and 5 sisters. The lists of John F. Kennedy’s siblings are Joseph Jr, Jean, Rosemary, Patricia, Kathleen, Eunice, Robert, and Ted (aka Edward).

Joseph Patrick Kennedy Jr

JFK Siblings

Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. – oldest of the Kennedy Siblings

He was born on 25th July 1915. Joseph was a Harvard graduate who later joined the US Navy. He was the eldest child among the Kennedy siblings. Having received flying lessons from a flight school, Joseph became a naval pilot. He accomplished a number of military combat operations in the U.K. Sadly, he died on 12th August 1944 when his plane exploded in mid-air. He was only 29-years-old.

Rosemary Kennedy

Rosemary Kennedy

John F. Kennedy’s Siblings – Rosemary Kennedy

She came into the Kennedy family on 13th September 1918. Her birth coincided with the Spanish Flu outbreak in Brookline; she made it through the epidemic that wiped out 20-50 million people.

Having gone through a delayed birth experience with her mother, Rose grew up and struggled with behavioral and learning difficulties. Doctors linked her abnormal behavioral patterns to inadequate oxygen which arose from her mom’s womb accident. After spending a great time in the UK, Rosemary returned to face doom in America.

Fearing for Rose’s lunacy and the family’s reputation, her dad authorized doctors to perform a lobotomy procedure to correct her waywardness. Unfortunately, the procedure failed woefully and it worsened the young lady’s condition. She couldn’t talk nor walk for the rest of her life. Aged 86, Rosemary Kennedy left the world in 2005.

Kathleen Cavendish Kennedy

Kathleen Kennedy

Kathleen Kennedy

She was born on 20th February 1920. Kathleen was an alumnus of Queen’s College in London. Kathleen found home in London when her dad was the US Ambassador to the UK. She worked with the Red Cross and even met her ex-husband Lord Hartington over there. Her marriage earned her the title Marchioness of Hartington. Tragedy befell her when Hartington died on war grounds in 1944. Four years later, Kathleen tragically perished with her new partner in a plane crash.

Eunice Kennedy Shriver

Eunice Kennedy

The Fifth Kennedy – Eunice Kennedy

Similar to her younger brother Robert, Eunice’s birth took place at Brookline, Massachusetts, on 10th July 1921. Eunice, Stanford graduate with a sociology degree, started her career working in various social foundations. Knowing that her sister Rose had a special intellectual problem, Eunice sweat and toiled to get the foundation –  Joseph P. Kennedy Jr Foundation – up and running.

Eunice and the Foundation achieved remarkable progress in helping intellectually-disabled people live a normal life. As a sports enthusiast, she was part of the team that founded the Special Olympics – a sports event, like the Summer and Winter Olympics, for people with intellectual challenges. The world dearly missed her motherly love and care and passion when she passed away on 11th August 2009.

Eunice and her husband, American diplomat and politician Sargent Shriver, had five children: Robert Sargent Shriver III, Maria Owings Shriver (Schwarzenegger), Timothy Perry Shriver, Mark Kennedy Shriver, and Anthony Paul Kennedy Shriver.

Between 1986 and 2021, her oldest daughter, Maria, was married to Arnold Schwarzenegger, Austrian and American actor and 38th governor of California.

Patricia  Kennedy

Patricia Kennedy

JFK siblings – Patricia Kennedy

She was born on 6th May 1924. Patricia showed interest in film productions. Growing up, she attended Rosemont College and became a socialite. Her marriage to movie star Peter Lawford ended in a divorce in 1966.  She then performed some duties at the John F. Kennedy’s Library and Museum. Patricia developed bad drinking habits before she died in 2006.

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Robert F. Kennedy

Robert F. Kennedy

Robert F. Kennedy — Assassinated in June 1968

His birth to the political family occurred in Brookline, Massachusetts, on 20th November 1925. Robert Kennedy had the chance to study at Harvard University but his studies were interrupted by World War II. Robert paused his studies and joined the U.S. Navy. After the war was over, he went back and graduated from Harvard in 1948.

His political journey kicked off when he acquired a law certificate from the University of Virginia. Robert slowly climbed the political ladder and became a Senator – a very prominent and influential Democrat for that matter. In June 1968, he was vying for the US presidency when an immigrant (one Sirhan Sirhan) fatally gunned him down, simply because Robert supported Israel.

Jean Ann Kennedy Smith

Jean Ann Kennedy

Jean Kennedy Smith was a US diplomat to Ireland during the Troubles in the 1990s

Jean’s birth occurred on 20th February 1928 in Boston, Massachusetts. Jean was an alumnus of the Manhattanville College. She grew up in the family’s political environment and rose to become the 25th US Ambassador to Ireland from 17th June 1993 to 17th September 1998. She occupied that position in President Clinton’s administration.

Post her diplomatic career, Jean continued working very hard for the organization she founded in 1974 – the Very Special Art (VSA). Jean’s organization is a world-acclaimed non-profit body that opened room for disabled people to show their talents.

For her selfless service to the United States, Jean Kennedy earned the Presidential Medal of Freedom (the highest honor that can be given to a U.S. civilian) from US President Barack Obama in 2011.

On Thursday, 18 June, 2020, the world woke up to the news of the death of Jean Ann Kennedy, the last surviving sibling of JFK. The former diplomat and activist was 92 at the time of her death. She outlived her husband Mr Smith, a successful businessman and New York financier who died in 1990. Jean Kennedy Smith was survived by her four children,  William, Kym, Amanda and Stephen, and six grandchildren.

Ted Kennedy

Ted Kennedy

The very experienced legislator, Ted Kennedy, youngest of the Kennedy siblings

Born in Boston, Massachusetts, on 22nd February 1932, Ted was one of the most prominent political figures that ever emerged from the Kennedy family. At 30-years-old, Ted became a Senator. The 9-time elected Congressman oversaw the creation of many reforms in the legislature.

Born to conquer, Ted – the youngest of the Kennedy siblings – miraculously survived a plane crash and a car accident in 1964 and 1969 respectively. As a politician, he stood against the Vietnam War. The Senate knew Ted as a fierce politician who hardly minced his words. After losing out to a battle with brain cancer, Ted Kennedy died at his home in Cape Cod, Massachusetts on August 25, 2009.

35th US President John F. Kennedy

The Kennedy brothers held significant roles in U.S. government: John F. Kennedy served as President, Robert F. Kennedy was the Attorney General, and Ted Kennedy represented Massachusetts as a Senator. Image: The Kennedy brothers (Left to Right): Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, Senator Ted Kennedy, and President John F. Kennedy in 1963

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