When it comes to American political dynasties, the first family name that probably comes to mind is the Kennedys.
The Kennedy family is one of the most famous families in the world. They have been in the spotlight for decades and have had their fair share of controversies.
The Kennedy family curse is a superstition that has been around for decades. It states that members of the Kennedy family are doomed to die young because they are cursed by either a family member or an outside force.
From plane crashes to overdoses, illnesses, and assassinations, The Kennedy family has struck by many devastating tragedies in the last century. After getting injured in a car accident in 1969, Ted Kennedy began to wonder if some kind of terrible curse hanging over his family’s name. After all, by that time, he had already lost four siblings to untimely deaths.
If you take a look at all of the facts, you’ll find that the Kennedys have suffered from more tragic illnesses, horrible accidents, and questionable deaths than just about any other political family. These tragedies coupled with their glamour, power, and ambition have captured the minds and imaginations of people from around the globe for decades now.
Join Facts Verse as we take a closer look at the so-called Kennedy Family Curse while revealing the details of every family member who has died in some kind of tragic way.
Rosemary Kennedy’s Lobotomy
Rosemary Kennedy was the youngest daughter of Joseph and Rose Kennedy. She was born in 1918 and died in 2005.
Rosemary had a mental disability that made her slow to learn, but she was still able to read and write. It’s theorized that she suffered from a lack of oxygen at birth. As Rosemary grew up, it became clear that she was failing to reach the same developmental milestones as other kids her age.
Her parents worried about her future, so they sent her to a special school for children with disabilities. As a young adult, Rosemary became increasingly irritable, unstable, and prone to violent mood swings. While Rosemary’s mental deficiencies were easier to hide when she was a child, as an adult they became very difficult to cover up.
In response to these issues, Rosemary’s dad arranged for her to have a prefrontal lobotomy in 1941 when she was 23. The procedure kept a secret until after it had completed, but sadly it botched and left young Rosemary permanently incapacitated.
The lobotomy left Rosemary unable to speak or walk without assistance for the rest of her life.
Joe Kennedy Jr. Killed In Action
As the eldest Kennedy son, Joe Jr. was always a bit of an over achiever. His father, Joseph Kennedy Sr, had aspirations of him one day become the United States President. If this were to have happened, Joe Jr. would have been the first Catholic US President, but that honor would instead go to his brother John.
Joe Jr. had already started a life in politics when America dragged into the Second Wolrd War. Being the patriot that he was, Joe Jr. enlisted in the United States Naval Reserve in June of 1941. He trained as a naval aviator before he deployed to Britain.
After successfully completing more than two dozen combat missions, Joe Jr volunteered for a top-secret mission called Operation Anvil and Operation Aphrodite
The details of his death kept sealed until after the war was over, but we eventually learned that Joe Jr died on August 12, 1944, while serving as a land-based patrol pilot. He posthumously awarded the Navy Cross.
Following his death, Joseph Sr. transferred his aspirations of raising a future president to his next-oldest son, John F. Kennedy.
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Kathleen ‘Kick’ Kennedy Killed In A Plane Crash
Just calling Kathleen’s life eventful would be a HUGE understatement. She was the sister of JFK and arguably the Kennedy family member with the most adorable nickname.
Kick experienced and accomplished quite a bit in her relatively short life. She was a debutante, Red Cross volunteer, and research assistant for the Times-Herald newspaper. Beyond that, she married the Marquess of Hartington, William ‘Billy’ Cavendish, in May of 1944, making her Lady Hartington.
Sadly, she also hit with one terrible tragedy after another. In September 1944, Kick’s husband died in combat, just months after their marriage. At the age of just 24, she was already a widow. Only four years later on May 13, 1948, Kick, along with three others, died in a small plane crash in France. She’s 28 when killed just three years after her brother Joe Jr.
Patrick Kennedy’s Death Was A Devastating Blow
On August 7, 1963, Jacqueline Kennedy gave birth to a little boy named Patrick. Mournfuly, since the child was born premature, he only lived for 39 hours before dying of complications of hyaline membrane disease. Numerous attempts made to save his life, but nothing worked.
The couple had previously suffered one stillbirth and a miscarriage, so this death was all the more so heartbreaking. Patrick’s death shined a light on infantile respiratory diseases and raised the public profile of such afflictions, leading to more research directed to the topic.
Clearly, Jackie O and John had to deal with more than their fair share of adversity, but as we all know, it wouldn’t end with little baby Patrick’s premature death.
The JFK Assassination
The assassination of President John F. Kennedy in 1963 was by far one of the most significant moments in United States history. Even a seasoned newscaster like Walter Cronkite, who had already reported on countless catastrophes, teared up when he delivered the horrific news to the nation.
On the 22nd of November, 1963, President Kennedy shot while he’s driven through Dallas, Texas. At the time, he’s campaigning for reelection, but he would never get a chance to serve a second term because he pronounced dead shortly after shots had been fired.
The alleged assailant, Lee Harvey Oswald, likewise shot to death by nightclub owner Jack Ruby shortly after his arrest. Although countless conspiracy theories about the event have flooded the public consciousness, one thing is for certain. Oswald, whether he acted alone or was some kind of patsy, deeply hated everything that America represented. He had a deep hatred for capitalism and had communist ties. So, when he had the opportunity to strike against the American political figurehead, he took it.
Even though the assassination presented numerous political challenges, the tragedy that Jacqueline and the Kennedy family had to deal with was still devastating beyond measure.
RFK’s Assassination Must Have Felt Like Deja Vu
Robert F. Kennedy, just like his brother John, was a prominent member of the Democratic Party. He served as the United States Attorney General between 1961 and 1964 before holding the senator’s office for New York.
Following in his brother’s footsteps, in 1968, Robert was one of the leading Democratic presidential candidates. Shortly after he won the California primary on June 5, 1968, Robert shot and killed by Sirhan Sirhan, a young Palestinian man who claimed that he acted in retaliation for Robert’s pro-Israeli stance during the Six-Day War in 1967.
RFK’s assassination prompted a change in the way that the Secret Service did its duties. After his death, the Secret Service expanded its breadth by also protecting presidential candidates
The Chappaquiddick Incident
On the evening of July 1969, Senator Ted Kennedy left a party held on Chappaquiddick Island to take fellow party guest Mary Jo Kopechne back to the ferry station. While en route to the ferry landing, Ted’s car skidded off a bridge into the water. Ted managed to escape the sinking vehicle and swim to safety, but he fled the scene and didn’t report the accident to the authorities until 10am the following morning.
At that point, Kopechne’s dead body had already recovered from the submerged vehicle. Ted ended up found guilty for fleeing the scene of the accident and sentenced to a two month suspended jail sentence. He also had his driver’s license suspended for 16 months.
This incident severely tarnished Ted Kennedy’s reputation and soured his political aspirations. At one point, he had dreams of becoming President, but when he finally ran in the 1980 Democratic presidential primaries, he lost in a landslide to future president Jimmy Carter.
David Kennedy’s Overdose Death
RFK’s fourth son, David, almost drowned to death when he was a boy, but his dad jumped in the water and saved him. The day after this near-death experience. David witnessed his father’s assassination on live TV.
To cope with the trauma of losing his father in such a horrific way, David turned to recreational drugs. And after injured in a car accident in 1973, he left addicted to opioids. Although he tried on numerous occasions to get clean in rehab following several non-fatal overdoses, David was never able to kick his habit.
In April 1984, he found dead after overdosing on a combination of prescription medications and cocaine.
Michael Kennedy’s Skiing Accident
Another one of RFK’s kids, Michael, died in a skiing accident in Aspen, Colorado on New Year’s Eve in 1997. He was evidently tossing a football while on skis with several other family members when he struck a tree.
He’s not wearing any safety equipment or helmet, and prior to the accident, the family had apparently been warned by the ski patrol to cease what they were doing. Following the accident, Michael rushed to Aspen Valley Hospital, where he pronounced dead a little over an hour later.
JFK Jr Died In A Plane Crash
JFK Jr. was born just two weeks after his dad elected President, which would have made him only two years old when John was assassinated.
In 1999, while he was working as an attorney in New York City, JFK Jr flew from Jersey to Massachusetts via Martha’s Vineyard to attend a wedding. In the plane with him was his wife, Carolyn, and his sister-in-law.
After the plane didn’t make it to it’s destination on schedule and stopped responding to communications, it reported missing.
At first, investigators had hoped that the Kennedy’s would be found alive, but the wreckage and debris of the aircraft, along with the three passengers’ bodies, were discovered days later. It’s believed that Kennedy became disorientated while descending over the water at night with limited visibility.
It’s astonishing that so many terrible things could happen to one family. While it’s always a good idea to remain skeptical of sensational claims, it’s hard to deny that Kennedys have been subjected to far more tragedies than the average American family.
What do you think?
Are the Kennedys really cursed as many people seem to think, or do you think that they’re simply the victims of some very lousy luck? Let us know in the comments.
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