America’s Love Affair with the Kennedy Family

1884 was the first time a Kennedy held office in the United States. 1946 was the last time a member of the Kennedy family was not in office in the United States. From 1947 onwards, a member of America’s most famous lineage has been sworn in as an elected official. In 2021, there will be no more – unless Ted Kennedy’s daughter-in-law wins. That’s 74 consecutive years and 136 years in general.

In short, that’s a whole lotta Kennedy.

So who are the men and women of the Kennedy family who have held office? Grab your time travel machine and let’s start at the beginning, in the year 1884.

Patrick Joseph Kennedy

  • Massachusetts State Representative (1884-1889)
  • Massachusetts State Senator (1889-1895)

The son of Irish immigrants, Patrick Joseph Kennedy lost his father and some siblings in a cholera outbreak. Due to being the only surviving male, he was afforded an education. He made his money through the alcohol industry, having started by buying a saloon.

Kennedy enjoyed five terms as state representative and three terms as a state senator. He was not someone who was a natural elected politician, though. Kennedy had made his name through backwater deals and smoke-filled rooms, preferring that to the campaigning he was forced to do. Still, Kennedy was one of Boston’s top politicians and even seconded Grover Cleveland at the 1888 Democratic National Convention.

After leaving state politics, Kennedy spent time in smaller elected positions in the city and used money from stocks to make money. During his political career, he married Mary Hickey and had four children, three of which lived past infancy. The eldest was Joseph Patrick Kennedy, father of JFK.

Joseph Patrick Kennedy Sr.

  • Chairman of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (1934-1935)
  • Chairman of the United States Maritime Commission (1936-1938)
  • United States Ambassador to the United Kingdom (1938-1940)

Early Career

Having made his money in the stock market, the movie industry, and real estate among other things, Joseph Patrick Kennedy, Sr. started his political career by backing Franklin Delano Roosevelt in the 1932 presidential election. A couple of years later, he became Chairman of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, a new venture that involved the government in markets – a response to the Great Depression. He managed to achieve all of his objectives and received acclaim from both Democrats and Republicans for his hard work and effectiveness. Even though he was successful, Kennedy resigned after only a year. The SEC still operates to this day.

In 1937, Kennedy scored another first by becoming the very first Chair of the United States Maritime Commission, another FDR brainchild. He had worked on the shipyards during World War I under FDR and then as Assistant Secretary of the Navy. The MC built and remodeled all sorts of naval craft, something that became essential as World War II loomed closer. Kennedy worked in this job for a year before resigning once again, this time to move abroad.

Ambassador to the UK

Kennedy is best known as the United States Ambassador to the United Kingdom. This was his most controversial role to date, specifically due to his pro-Nazi sympathies and anti-Semitism. A strident isolationist in this regard, Kennedy led the rallying cry against American involvement in WW2. He initially succeeded in officially keeping America out of the war, though they did send supplies to the Allies. In 1941, after Pearl Harbor was attacked, America entered the war. Two of his sons entered combat, and the eldest child, Joseph Jr, died. It is reported that Kennedy verbally attacked Roosevelt for killing his son.

Kennedy enjoyed his time as Ambassador due to his social position in London. He continued to support appeasement whilst constantly criticising his British hosts. He received criticism for sending several of his children abroad during the war whilst others stayed in London and England in general. Moreover, he did not get on well with the British and eventually was recalled in 1940 due to anti-Roosevelt policies. It was reported he wanted to run in 1940, but his isolationist stance strongly upset the Roosevelt administration. Essentially a private citizen from then on, he mainly spent WW2 encouraging Catholics to vote for the Democrats.

Patriarch of the Kennedy Family

Kennedy was married to Rose Fitzgerald, the daughter of Boston Mayor J.F. Fitzgerald. They had nine children. The eldest, Joe Jr, died in 1944 after his plane malfunctioned. Joe Jr knew that his was a dangerous mission, but was reportedly jealous of his younger brother’s Purple Heart, so flew anyway. Kathleen “Kick” Kennedy became estranged from her family due to her marrying a Protestant Englishman, and was flying to meet her father for his consent to marriage to another. She died in a plane crash in 1948 and he was the only relative to attend her funeral. Rosemary, another daughter, was lobotomised and locked away for the rest of her life. The young woman was known for her spirit, an attribute which embarrassed her father.

The patriarch of the Kennedy family had political aspirations for Joe Jr. but had to refocus after his death. John ‘Jack’ Kennedy became the new target. Kennedy did not believe women should be in politics and encouraged them to be virtuous wives, all whilst philandering and encouraging his sons to do the same. He lived to see JFK be elected President as well as his other children in high office. Kennedy suffered a stroke just after his son was inaugurated and lived the rest of his days as a disabled man. He outlived four children, as JFK and Robert Kennedy were assassinated in 1963 and 1968 respectively.

John Fitzgerald Kennedy

  • Congressman for MA-11 (1947-1953)
  • United States Senator from Massachusetts (1953-1961)
  • President of the United States (1961-1963)

Early Career

A WW2 hero with a Purple Heart and other accolades, John “Jack” Fitzgerald Kennedy was groomed for high office after the death of his older brother. In 1947, Joe Kennedy, Sr. used his political influence to get Congressman James Michael Curley to vacate the ultra-safe MA-11 seat. JFK ran against ten other candidates, with Joe Sr. using his vast wealth and connections to run the campaign. Having a relatively progressive stance, he won easily. Throughout his congressional career, JFK continued to support labour and rail against communism, though he was not the most anti-red person of all.

He ran against Republican Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr. in 1952 for a Senate seat and won. It was a family affair, as Robert Kennedy ran the campaign and Joe Jr. once again bankrolled it. Lodge Jr. was so busy working with Eisenhower that he neglected the campaign, and Joe Sr. gave the struggling Boston Post a $500,000 loan in return for an endorsement. Kennedy ran unopposed in the Democratic primary and won over half the vote in the election. He’d later beat Lodge Jr. again, as he was Nixon’s running mate in 1960.

Senate and the Presidency

Kennedy’s frequent illnesses meant he was often absent from the Senate, with back surgery nearly killing him. He also won a Pulitzer Prize for his 1957 work Profiles in Courage. His Senate work included both domestic and foreign policy, from civil rights to Algerian independence. Worried that being a bachelor would damage his son’s image, Joe Sr. encouraged JFK’s relationship with Jacqueline Bouvier. Young, pretty, Catholic, and with no political ambition of her own, she was seen as the perfect political spouse. They married the same year he was sworn into the Senate.

In 1960, Kennedy ran for President. Many were worried about his youth, but his most pressing issue was the strong anti-Catholic sentiment that still ran deep in the country. The Democratic base of white Southerners was the biggest bloc here, so Kennedy focused on separating his faith from his politics. Once again, he stuck to family; Bobby Kennedy was the manager and Joe Jr. was the bank. He surprised many by not choosing a liberal, but by choosing Lyndon B. Johnson as a running mate. Having an experienced Texan was probably a pragmatic move on Kennedy’s part. The race against incumbent Vice President Richard Nixon took several turns, with Kennedy proving popular in the very first television debate, but the young Democrat ended up winning very narrowly in a hotly contested election.

Life and Death

As President, Kennedy saw a whole range of issues. With LBJ as his VP and brother Bobby Kennedy as Attorney General, Kennedy sought to balance his time. On the domestic agenda, Kennedy oversaw one of the most notable eras in the Civil Rights movement. Though he was more reluctant than Johnson and his brother, he did eventually try to push the world along. His foreign exploits were also notable, with the failed Bay of Pigs embarrassing him and the Cuban Missile Crisis putting the world near the flames.

We all know how it ends. If you go with the official version of events, three bullets entered JFK as he drove down Dealey Plaza in Dallas, Texas. He was mortally wounded before he arrived at Parkland Hospital. The doctors has no hope of saving him. Texas Governor John Connally was also injured and was erroneously reported to be dead, but he survived. Soviet sympathiser Lee Harvey Oswald was identified and ran briefly (and also gunning down J.D Tippit, a police officer), but he was himself killed the next day by nightclub owner Jack Ruby.


JFK is buried at Arlington Cemetery. He and Jackie had four children: stillborn Arabella, Caroline, John Jr., and Patrick, the last of whom died three days after birth. Jackie died in 1994 and is buried with her husband, along with their deceased children. Caroline had her own political career and has three children, whilst JFK Jr. was tragically killed in a flight accident in 1999.

Robert Francis Kennedy

  • United States Attorney-General (1961-1963)
  • United States Senator for New York (1965-1968)

Early Career

As the third-eldest Kennedy son and the second-eldest surviving boy, Robert “Bobby” Kennedy became his brother John’s right-hand man after they became close on a trip to Asia. He spent his early political career as a behind-the-scenes advisor and aide, running JFK’s campaigns and assisting Democratic leaders. Kennedy pushed, but failed, for LBJ – a man who he despised beyond recognition – to not be offered the VP slot.

JFK appointed his brother to the role of Attorney General, but this was not without controversy. He was reluctant at first, but their father overruled his elder son and told him to appoint Bobby. A voice vote was gained after some backwater dealings. The press and public also criticised the decision, noting that while Kennedy had been successful in investigations, he’d never once had court experience.

Attorney General and Senator

As AG, Kennedy was influential in his active fight against the mob as well as corrupt unions, especially the infamous Jimmy Hoffa. In foreign affairs, Kennedy was an important diplomat, from relaying messages between the Soviets and Americans to advising his brother during the Cuban Missile Crisis. He was also much, much stronger in his campaign for civil rights, using his position to prosecute racists and to protect activists.

The death of his brother, to whom he was very close, deeply upset Kennedy. Whilst many wanted him to step in as VP, the mutual loathing between him and Johnson would ensure that this would not happen. Kennedy stayed in the cabinet to ensure a smooth transition before leaving to pursue a Senate career. He won a New York seat and quickly became infamous, as he was not friendly with most of his colleagues. His priorities in the Senate included gun control, Vietnam, poverty, the Cold War, and apartheid South Africa, the last of which few politicians ever spoke of.

A Doomed Run for President

Just two weeks before LBJ announced he would not run again, Kennedy announced his intention to run for the Presidency. This angered supporters of Eugene McCarthy, a fierce anti-war Senator, who worried this would split the vote and give it back to the deeply unpopular Johnson. Kennedy was told not to race against McCarthy in Indiana. He still did, however, winning the state’s primary. Martin Luther King, Jr. was killed during the Indiana campaign, so Kennedy suspended campaigning and relayed the news to a crowd in Indianapolis. His eloquent speech became famous and was credited for preventing major rioting in the city.

Kennedy won several primaries and was celebrating in a Los Angeles hotel as initial polling had him winning in California. Early in the morning, he left an after-party through the kitchen, despite warnings that it was not secured. There, 24-year-old Palestinian Sirhan Sirhan, angered by Kennedy’s support of Israel, shot the candidate three times. Kennedy soon lost consciousness and died just over 24 hours later. Hubert Humphrey, LBJ’s VP, later won the nomination.


At the time of his death, Kennedy was married to Ethel Skakel and had ten children, with an eleventh, Rory, being born after his death. He’d been close to Jackie and had cared for her after JFK died – Bobby’s death was the trigger that led to Jackie leaving the United States and marrying Onassis. In 1967, a year before his death, Congress passed an anti-nepotism law for the federal government, part of which was due to Kennedy’s position in his brother’s cabinet.

Edward Moore Kennedy

  • United States Senator for Massachusetts (1962-2009)

Early Career

The youngest of the Kennedy children, Edward “Ted” Kennedy was twenty years younger than his eldest sibling. He spent his time as an assistant district attorney whilst helping his brother John’s campaigns before running for Senate in the 1962 midterms. This was controversial, as his two brothers were President and Attorney General respectively, but his father overruled them and allowed Kennedy to run. He won with 55% of the vote.

Kennedy kept a low profile compared to his brothers. He was presiding over the Senate when he was informed of JFK’s shooting, with news soon following of his death. Only a few months later, Kennedy was in a plane accident. Whilst he survived, the pilot and one of his aides were killed. Kennedy was injured, spending months in hospital and being forced to walk with a cane. He also gained lifelong back pain as a result. Kennedy returned to the Senate and was devastated several years later by the death of Bobby, as the two were very close.

Chappaquiddick and its Aftermath

1969 was the year that should have ended his political career. He was driving a young woman named Mary Jo Kopeche from a party on Chappaquiddick Island when he lost control of his car, sending the vehicle plummeting into the water. Kennedy managed to get out, but believing Kopeche to be a lost cause, swam to shore and left, not reporting the accident until the next morning. It turns out that Kopeche was actually alive, but drowned several hours later when her pocket of air ran out. Despite a boatload of controversy and calls for Kennedy to be tried for manslaughter, he walked away with a two month suspended sentence.

The accident ended any chance of him running for President. Kennedy still enjoyed the votes of his constituents, though he lost goodwill with a large number of people. Two years later, he lost his job as Senate Majority Whip. Still, Kennedy remained in the Senate for a number of decades. After his son, Edward Jr., was diagnosed with bone cancer, Kennedy became passionate about the issue of healthcare. He pushed for healthcare reform with the assistance of Richard Nixon, but Watergate stopped it going any further.

The Reagan/Clinton Years

Despite Democrat Jimmy Carter being the incumbent President, Kennedy ran in 1980 Presidential election. Though his polling was fair, his campaign was terrible. He struggled to prove his case and faced strong opposition from the incumbent. Though Carter won the primaries with relative ease, Kennedy refused to bow down until the Democratic National Convention. It was there where his most famous speech, “The Dream Shall Never Die”, was done, in which he criticised Carter.

Kennedy spent time working with the Soviets and against apartheid South Africa. He considered running in 1984 and 1988, but decided against both for various reasons. His personal life also became scandalous – he drank and womanised and had been accused of sexual assault. Kennedy was one of the fighters against the nomination of Robert Bork to the Supreme Court and gave a famous speech an hour before the nomination. It was credited with stopping Bork from going forward.

Final Decades

Personal problems resumed in the 90s, when he went on a trip, during which his nephew William was accused of rape. Kennedy’s reputation suffered from this incident, as well as his vocal opposition to the successful nomination of Clarence Thomas. During the Clinton era, he worked with the President and First Lady on his pet project, healthcare. In 1994, he won a relatively close election against a little-known Republican challenger named Mitt Romney. He became known for being strongly liberal during the 1990s Republican Revolution.

He worked with George W. Bush in the early 2000s – he was even with Laura Bush when 9/11 happened. Though Kennedy supported the invasion of Afghanistan, he was a prominent critic of the Iraq War. He spent his last years in the Senate working on immigration reform with John McCain. Kennedy endorsed Obama in 2008, but was soon diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour. Though he returned to the Senate to vote on a healthcare bill, he was physically very ill. At the inaugural luncheon in 2009, he suffered a seizure. He continued in his role for the months after, though he was not physically present. His elder sister Eunice died just a few weeks before him, but he was unable attend the funeral. On the 25th of August, he too died.


Kennedy married socialite and model Joan Bennett, with whom he had three children, in 1958. His son Edward managed to beat cancer but had a leg amputated. The marriage was troubled, as Joan struggled with alcohol and Kennedy followed the family tradition of adultery. Joan was on bed rest, pregnant, at the time of Chappaquiddick, but came out to attend the funeral and support her husband. She then suffered another miscarriage. The couple separated in 1978 and were officially divorced five years later. In 1992, he married the younger Vicki Reggie, who is credited for getting him sober and continuing his political career.

Joseph Patrick Kennedy II

  • Congressman for MA-08 (1987-1999)

The second child and eldest son of Robert and Ethel Kennedy, Joseph Patrick Kennedy came into prominence in 1974 for the wrong reason. He was driving a car that contained his brother David and David’s girlfriend, Pam, when an accident occurred. Joseph Patrick got out without any issues and David had fractured his vertebrae, but Pam was paralysed for life and still relies on a wheelchair to this day.

In 1986, Kennedy decided to run for Massachusetts’s 8th Congressional district, previously held by JFK. He had stiff competition but still managed to win the primaries with over half the vote and the general election with nearly three-quarters. He won several more terms, winning an incredible 99% in the 1994 election. In office, Kennedy’s main interests were banking reform, housing, and helping children. As a congressman, he boycotted a speech by Queen Elizabeth II due to his anger at the situation in Northern Ireland. After six terms, Kennedy decided to retire after his younger brother, Michael, was killed in a skiing accident.

Post-Congressional Career and Family

Following his career, he fell back on Citizens Energy Corporation, a non-profit that he founded, having since remained at its helm. Though he has been asked to run for Governor and Senator, he rejected both. His first marriage was to Sheila Brewster Rauch, and they had two children. He attempted to annul this marriage in order to wed his former staffer in a Catholic ceremony and receive all the benefits, but this was refused. His second marriage, in a civil ceremony, was to Beth Kelly. The initial decision was overturned, with Rauch finding out later, but it still meant that Kennedy did not have the church’s permission to remarry.

Patrick Joseph Kennedy II

  • Rhode Island House of Representatives (1989-1993)
  • Congressman for RI-01 (1995-2011)

Whilst still in college, Patrick Joseph Kennedy II won a seat in the Rhode Island House of Representatives. He defeated a five-term incumbent at the age of only 21, serving two terms in District 9. In 1994, he won a seat in the United States House of Representatives, serving one of only two districts in Rhode Island, one of which is the least-populated in the country. In the House, his passion projects were mental health, disability equality, and healthcare. He’d won his House seat from a Republican incumbent and whilst he considered a Senate career, he instead opted for re-election.

Since leaving electoral politics, Kennedy has been an advocate for mental health due to his longstanding battle with Bipolar Disorder. He led in several ventures regarding this issue, including founding The Kennedy Forum (a mental health advocacy group) and Advocates for Opioid Recovery. Kennedy has also opposed legalising marijuana and served as Chair of the Democratic National Convention for a time.

In 2006, Kennedy was arrested for driving whilst under the influence of drugs. He entered rehab, paid a fine, and was put on probation, with drug tests included. In 2011, he married Amy Savell and has four children. Amy Kennedy is running for a New Jersey Congressional seat in the November 2020 election.

Kathleen Kennedy Townsend

  • Lieutenant-Governor of Maryland (1995-2003)

The eldest child of Robert and Ethel Kennedy, she was asked by her father to look out for the family after JFK’s assassination. She initially worked as a political campaigner and attorney.

In 1994, Kathleen Kennedy Townsend joined the gubernatorial ticket in Maryland with Democratic candidate Parris Glendening in the hope that her family name would help out. The election was extremely close, with about 6,000 votes separating the Democratic and Republican tickets. A hearing found that nearly 2,0000 had been illegally cast, but that otherwise the election was fair and the Democrats had won. After Glendening was term-limited, Kennedy Townsend ran for Governor. Kennedy Townsend ran a poor campaign, which saw Maryland elect a Republican governor for only the 7th time.

Since her defeat, Kennedy Townsend had spent her time lecturing at universities, working on the boards of several organisations and running a non-profit. She has been married to David Lee Townsend since 1973 and has four daughters, one of whom tragically died this year.

Mark Kennedy Shriver

  • Maryland House Delegate for MD-15 (1995-2003)

The son of Vice Presidential Candidate Sargent Shriver and Eunice Kennedy, Shriver worked in several task forces and advisory boards in his early career. In 1994, Shriver was elected as a House Delegate for Maryland, part of the lower of the bilateral chambers. In addition to this position, Shriver continued the work he had done previously. He served two terms before retiring. Shriver ran for a Congressional seat but lost the Democratic primaries.

Shriver initially worked as Senior Vice President for Save the Children’s US Programmes, but is now President of Save the Children Action Network, and Senior Vice President for both US Programmes and Advocacy. He married Jeanne Ripp in 1992 and has three children.

Jean Kennedy Smith

  • United States Ambassador to Ireland (1993-1998)

The second youngest of the Kennedy children, Jean Kennedy Smith, started her political career working on JFK’s campaigns, mainly knocking on doors. In 1974, she founded Very Special Arts, an organisation for the disabled. It focuses mainly on music, drama and other arts that get the disabled involved.

Kennedy Smith joined the family business when she was appointed by Bill Clinton as United States Ambassador to Ireland. She, like her family, sympathised with the IRA side and she strongly advocated for Gerry Adams – then classed as a terrorist under the UK – to get a visa in order to visit the United States. This was hugely controversial and she was criticised by many, including two FSOs, whom she retaliated against. Kennedy Smith also used taxpayer money to refurbish her residence. She retired just after the Good Friday Agreement and in that same year was given honorary Irish citizenship.

Since then, Kennedy Smith had continued to work on disability rights and Ireland. She married Stephen Edward Smith in 1956; he was a key supporter of JFK and his campaigns. They have two biological sons and adopted daughters. Smith died in 1990. Kennedy Smith passed in 2020.

Robert ‘Bobby’ Shriver III

  • Santa Monica City Councillor (2004-2012)
  • Mayor of Santa Monica (2010)

Robert “Bobby” Shriver III is the eldest child of former Vice Presidential Candidate, Sargent Shriver, and his wife Eunice. Shriver started life as a court clerk before continuing on to a variety of business ventures, from owning a sports team to film production. A friend of U2 lead singer Bono, Shriver has worked with his friend to found two international aid charities.

Shriver started political life as Chairman of the California State Park and Recreation Commission, an unelected position, with actor Clint Eastwood as his deputy. They were appointed by Shriver’s then-brother in law, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. In 2004, upset with a dispute with the city over hedge heights, he ran for the city council in Santa Monica and won. He won a second term, but did not contest a third. In 2014, he ran for Los Angeles County Supervisor but lost. During his time in Santa Monica, he briefly served as Mayor.

He married Malissa Feruzzi in 2005 and the pair has two daughters.

Caroline Kennedy

  • United States Ambassador to Japan (2013-2017)

The only surviving child of John and Jacqueline Kennedy, Caroline, was about to turn six when her father was tragically killed. When staying in London, she was nearly killed by an IRA bomb meant for her host family, a Conservative MP and his wife. Kennedy initially worked at an art museum before getting a law degree. Before her ambassadorial career, Kennedy worked as an attorney and also in literature, a passion she continued to pursue after her political role ended.

Kennedy considered running for Hillary Clinton’s New York Senate seat after the latter became Secretary of State, her uncle Robert having held the position, but eventually decided against it. Despite a lack of foreign policy experience, she was nominated by President Barack Obama as United States Ambassador to Japan. After being grilled before Senators, she received unanimous confirmation. She visited the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki to memorialise the bombings, and also the site of a controversial American military base. In 2015, Kennedy attended a memorial for the 70th anniversary of the bombing of Nagasaki. Upon Trump’s election, Kennedy resigned and left Japan only two days before his inauguration.

Since leaving Japan, she has continued serving on numerous boards and working on her family legacy. She married artist Edwin Schlossberg in 1986 and they have three children. Along with her youngest and only son, Jack, she spoke at the Democratic National Convention in 2020.

Joseph P. Kennedy III

  • Congressman for MA-04 (2013-2021)

Congressional Tenure

Along with his twin, Matthew, Joseph P. Kennedy III is the eldest grandson of Robert and Ethel Kennedy. After leaving the Peace Corps, he worked on his uncle Ted’s Senate re-election campaign and enrolled at Harvard, his family’s alma mater. He worked in a legal aid organisation before graduating, and worked as an assistant district attorney before resigning to enter politics.

Kennedy entered politics upon his run for Congress, immediately defeating any opponents when he announced. He won with over 60% of the vote. Kennedy won several more re-elections, winning 98% in one and running completely unopposed in another. In office, his most notable ventures have been voting against NSA restrictions and pushing for technology funding. Kennedy led the Democratic response to the President’s State of the Union Address in 2018, a traditional speech done by the members of the opposing party.

2020 Senate Primary

In 2019, Kennedy ran against incumbent Ed Markey for the 2020 Senate race. Markey had an advantage due to being an incumbent but also had strong support from the growing socialist/progressive movement in the Democratic Party. Kennedy received support from establishment types like House Speaker like Nancy Pelosi, whilst Markey got endorsements from Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the young and very liberal member of Congress from New York. Along with the fact that Kennedy ran a poor campaign that included spelling errors in his campaign literature, Markey won the nomination. His loss marks the first time a Kennedy family member has lost an election in Massachusetts.

One of the wealthiest in Congress, Kennedy met his wife Lauren Birchfield in a Harvard class taught by Elizabeth Warren. They married in 2012 and have two children.

Edward M. Kennedy Jr

  • Connecticut State Senator for CT-12 (2015-2019)

The eldest child of Edward M. Kennedy Sr and Joan Bennett, Edward M. Kennedy, Jr., faced a diagnosis of bone cancer at the age of 12. His spell in hospital is what inspired his father, a sitting Senator, to become a passionate proponent of healthcare legislation. Whilst he recovered, Kennedy had his right leg amputated. He escaped death once again after being delayed on the way to a plane that would later crash and kill nearly everyone on board. After attending law school, he joined a firm that specialised in helping people with disabilities. He then founded his own firm, before joining another that focused on healthcare.

Kennedy was elected to a seat in the Connecticut State Senate in 2015. In his time in the state Senate, he focused mainly on environmental issues. Just before what would have been his third term, should he win, Kennedy decided against running again.

He is on the board of the American Association of People with Disabilities. In 1993 he married Katherine ‘Kiki’ Gershman. They have two children.

Sarah Stook is a freelance writer with a great interest in US politics. Her area of interest is the Republican Party, presidential elections and how campaigns are conducted. You can follow her on Twitter at @sarah_stook.

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