Jean Kennedy Smith, Sister to JFK, Died


On June 17, 2020, ex-ambassador to Ireland, Jean Kennedy Smith, passed away. At this time it is unclear what was the cause for her death. Her daughter announced the news of the 92-year-old’s death. She was the last sibling to President John F. Kennedy to pass away.

Her Early Years

She was born on Feb. 20, 1928, in Brookline, Massachusetts. Her parents, Joseph P. and Rose Kennedy had nine children. Smith received her education at Sacred Heart schools in England and in the United States. Afterward, she majored in English at Manhattanville College, where she graduated.

Her brother Lieutenant Joseph P. Kennedy Jr., was killed in action in 1944, during World War II. In 1945, Smith was chosen to christen a Navy destroyer, named after her brother the Uss Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr.

She married Stephen E. Smith on May 19, 1956. That same year her husband was named the White House’s chief of staff. A year later she birthed their son Stephen, Jr. In September of 1960, Smith gave birth to their second child, William. Their third child, Amanda, was born in 1967. She gave birth to her last child, Kym in 1972.

Ambassador to Ireland

In Smith’s memoir “The Nine of Us” she talks about her childhood and what it was like growing up with future high-ranking officials of the U.S. “At the time, they were simply my playmates. They were the source of my amusement and the objects of my admiration.”

She chose to help her brothers in their various campaign’s over running herself. In 1963, she stepped in for her sister-in-law (First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy) as the co-host to a state dinner for the President of Ireland. Later that year she visited Ireland when she accompanied President Kennedy on his iconic trip to the beautiful country.

Thirty years later, President Bill Clinton appointed her as the ambassador to Ireland. She became a member of the Board of Trustees of the Joseph P Kennedy, Jr.’s Foundation, in 1964. The Foundation supplies grants to promote awareness for mental retardation. The former ambassador was also a member of the board for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and others. Her husband passed away in 1990. Smith is survived by her four children and various family and friends. May she rest in peace.

By Sheena Robertson


USA TODAY: Jean Kennedy Smith, diplomat and last surviving sibling of JFK, dead at 92: reports
NBC: Jean Kennedy Smith, ex-ambassador to Ireland and last surviving sibling of JFK, dies at 92

Top and Featured Image Courtesy of FDR Presidential Library & MuseumFollow’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License

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