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Thread: Jean Kennedy Smith dies aged 92

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    Elite Member rollo's Avatar
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    Default Jean Kennedy Smith dies aged 92

    Jean Kennedy Smith, the last surviving sibling of President John. F. Kennedy and former ambassador to Ireland, dies aged 92


    • Jean Kennedy Smith died on Wednesday aged 92 at her home in Manhattan
    • Smith was the last surviving sibling of President John F. Kennedy
    • She was the eighth of nine children born to Joseph P. and Rose Kennedy and she tragically outlived several of them by decades
    • Smith married Kennedy family financial adviser and future White House chief of staff Stephen Edward Smith in 1956
    • Smith and her husband, who died of lung cancer in 1990, had four children, Stephen Jr., William, Amanda and Kym
    • She served as United States Ambassador to Ireland from 1993 to 1998 where she played a pivotal role in the Northern Irish peace process

    By EMILY CRANE FOR DAILYMAIL.COM and ASSOCIATED PRESS
    PUBLISHED: 13:06, 18 June 2020 | UPDATED: 15:28, 18 June 2020


    Jean Kennedy Smith, the last surviving sibling of slain President John F. Kennedy, who as US ambassador to Ireland in the 1990s played a pivotal role in the Northern Irish peace process, had died aged 92.
    Kennedy Smith died on Wednesday at her home in Manhattan, her family confirmed. The family declined to give a cause of death, saying they would like to 'keep it private'.
    She was the eighth of nine children born to Joseph P. and Rose Kennedy and she tragically outlived several of them by decades. Kennedy Smith was labeled 'the shy Kennedy' having long found herself in the shadow of her famous father and brothers.
    Her siblings included older brother Joseph Kennedy Jr., killed in action during World War II; Kathleen 'Kick' Kennedy, who died in a 1948 plane crash; the president, assassinated in 1963 and Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, slain in 1968.
    Sen. Edward Kennedy, the youngest of the Kennedy siblings, died of brain cancer in August 2009, the same month their sister Eunice Kennedy Shriver died. Among Smith's other siblings, Rosemary died in 2005; and Patricia in 2006.
    Kennedy Smith, who married Kennedy family financial adviser and future White House chief of staff Stephen Smith in 1956, is survived by their four children and six grandchildren. Her husband died in 1990.

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    Jean Kennedy Smith, the last surviving sibling of President John F. Kennedy and a former ambassador to Ireland, died on Wednesday aged 92 in her Manhattan home. She is pictured in 2017 during the John F. Kennedy Centennial Symposium at the Harvard Kennedy School


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    Kennedy Smith is the last surviving sibling of President John F. Kennedy. She is pictured above with him at the opening day of baseball in 1961

    Her husband was himself a trusted adviser who helped run the Kennedy family's business interests, played a senior role in JFK's 1960 presidential campaign and managed the presidential runs of her other brothers, Robert and Edward.
    Kennedy Smith also played family matchmaker, introducing Robert in 1945 to her Manhattanville College classmate Ethel Skakel, whom he later married.
    She got her introduction to politics helping with John's 1946 campaign for Congress.
    In 1960, by then a wife and mother, Kennedy Smith traveled the country campaigning for him ahead of his narrow victory over Republican Vice President Richard Nixon to become America's first Catholic president.
    In 1963, she stepped in for a traveling Jacqueline Kennedy and co-hosted a state dinner for Ireland's president. The same year, she accompanied her brother - the first Irish Catholic president - on his famous visit to Ireland. Their great-grandfather, Patrick Kennedy, was from Dunganstown in County Wexford in southeastern Ireland.
    Five years after JFK was assassinated in Dallas in 1963, Kennedy Smith and her husband were at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles when Bobby, two years her senior, was gunned down after winning the California Democratic presidential primary.
    Like the rest of her family, Kennedy Smith had already been no stranger to tragedy.
    Born on February 20, 1928, in Brookline, Massachusetts, she was just 16 when her oldest brother, Joseph Kennedy Jr., was killed in World War Two. Four years later, her older sister Kathleen 'Kick' Kennedy died in a plane crash.
    Her husband died of lung cancer in 1990 at age 63.
    A year later, she was in attendance in Florida at the rape trial of her son Dr William Kennedy Smith, who was acquitted in a heavily publicized case that cast a darker light on the family once considered American royalty.
    He had been accused of rape at the Kennedy estate in Palm Beach, Florida. His trial included testimony from his uncle, Sen. Edward Kennedy, who had roused his nephew and son to go to some nightclubs that Easter weekend.
    Kennedy Smith also helped care for brother Ted before he died of brain cancer in August 2008 - just two weeks after the death of their older sister Eunice Kennedy Shriver.
    'It's the philosophy of our family that you keep moving,' Kennedy Smith told USA Today in a 2010 interview, reflecting on her family losses.
    'You have to do things and look at the bright side of life - and remember them with love.'

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    Smith was the eighth of nine children born to Joseph P. and Rose Kennedy and she tragically outlived several of them by decades. Seated from left are: Patricia Kennedy, Robert Kennedy, Rose Kennedy, John F Kennedy, Joseph P Kennedy Sr with Edward Kennedy on his lap. Standing from left are: Joseph P Kennedy Jr, Kathleen Kennedy, Rosemary Kennedy, Eunice Kennedy and Jean Kennedy


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    Smith, who married Kennedy family financial adviser and future White House chief of staff Stephen Edward Smith in 1956, was viewed for much of her life as a quiet sister who shunned the spotlight. She is pictured left in 2017 and right in 1960 while campaigning in Wisconsin for JFK


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    Members of the Kennedy family pose at a fundraising dinner at New York in 1979. From left: Steve Smith, Pat Lawford, Jackie Onassis, Jean Kennedy Smith, Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, Kerry Kennedy, daughter of the late Robert F. Kennedy, and Steve Smith Jr.

    For much of her life, Smith was viewed as a quiet sister who shunned the spotlight.
    In her memoir 'The Nine of Us,' published in 2016, she wrote that for much of the time her childhood seemed 'unexceptional.'
    'It is hard for me to fully comprehend that I was growing up with brothers who eventually occupy the highest offices of our nation, including president of the United States,' she explained.
    'At the time, they were simply my playmates. They were the source of my amusement and the objects of my admiration.'
    'Certainly a distinct characteristic of our family was its size,' Smith wrote in her memoir.
    'A child in a big family constantly feels surrounded and supported. For me, there was always someone to play with or someone to talk to just around the corner, out on the porch, or in the next bedroom. I never felt alone.'
    Kennedy Smith made her own leap into the spotlight in 1993 when she became US ambassador to Ireland, 30 years after accompanying brother on his triumphant visit to their family's ancestral homeland.
    Nominated by President Bill Clinton, who called her 'as Irish as an American can be', she was determined to use the Dublin post, traditionally a sinecure for retired Irish-American politicians or business leaders, to advance the cause of peace in Northern Ireland.
    During her confirmation hearing, she recalled the trip with her brother, describing it as 'one of the most moving experiences of my own life.'
    As ambassador from 1993 to 1998, she played a role in the Northern Ireland peace process. She helped persuade Clinton to grant a controversial visa in 1994 to Gerry Adams, chief of the Irish Republican Army-linked Sinn Fein party. The move defied the British government, which branded Adams as a terrorist.
    She later called criticism of her actions toward the IRA 'unfortunate' and said she thought history would credit the Clinton administration with helping the peace process in Northern Ireland.

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    Smith was appointed ambassador to Ireland by President Bill Clinton, who called her 'as Irish as an American can be'. She served in the role from 1993 to 1998


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    President Barack Obama presents a Medal of Freedom to Jean Kennedy Smith during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House in 2011

    Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern said in 1998 that 'it is not an understatement to say that if (the visa for Adams) didn't happen at the time, perhaps other events may not have fallen into place.'
    In 1996, though, Smith had been reprimanded by Secretary of State Warren Christopher for punishing two of her officers who objected to the visa for Adams.
    In December 1998, Smith again risked controversy by taking communion in a Protestant cathedral in Dublin, going against the bishops of her Roman Catholic church.
    Her decision was a strong personal gesture of support for Irish President Mary McAleese, a fellow Catholic who had been criticized by Irish bishops for joining in the Protestant communion service.
    'Religion, after all, is about bringing people together,' Smith told The Irish Times. 'We all have our own way of going to God.'
    When she stepped down as ambassador in 1998, she received Irish citizenship for 'distinguished service to the nation.'
    Diplomacy, along with politics, also ran in the Kennedy family. Her father was ambassador to the United Kingdom from 1938 to 1940.
    'We're the first father-daughter ambassadors,' Smith told The Irish Times in 1997. 'So I can't remember a time when we were not an actively political family.'
    Smith was the first Kennedy female of her generation to take on a serious political job.
    Niece Caroline Kennedy served as ambassador to Japan during the Obama administration.
    In 1974, Smith founded Very Special Arts, an education program that supports artists with physical or mental disabilities. Her 1993 book with George Plimpton, 'Chronicles of Courage: Very Special Artists', features interviews with disabled artists. The program followed in the footsteps of her sister Eunice's creation of the Special Olympics for disabled athletes.
    For her diplomatic and philanthropic work, including founding Very Special Arts organization, Kennedy Smith in 2011 was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest US civilian honor, by President Barack Obama.

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    Smith's son, Dr. William Kennedy Smith (above in 2011, made headlines in 1991 when he was charged with rape at the Kennedy estate in Palm Beach, Florida. He was acquitted after a highly publicized trial that included testimony from his uncle, Sen. Edward Kennedy, who had roused his nephew and son to go to some nightclubs that Easter weekend


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    Smith was the eighth of nine children born to Joseph P. and Rose Kennedy and she tragically outlived several of them by decades. Pictured left to right is Kathleen, Edward, Joseph Kennedy, wife Rose Kennedy, Patricia, Jean and Robert in London in 1938

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...-JFK-dies.html

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    R.I.P Jean.
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