By Brian McCabe

The recent sad death on June 17 this year of Jean Kennedy Smith brings to a close probably the most famous – and high achieving – generation of the Kennedy dynasty.

Jean Ann Kennedy was born in Boston, Massachusetts on 20th February, 1928. She was the eighth of nine children born to the famous Joseph P. Kennedy and his wife Rose Kennedy. Her other siblings went on to include a U.S. President (John), US Attorney General and Presidential candidate (Robert), US Senator (Ted) and founder of the Special Olympics (Eunice).

Her childhood was regarded as idyllic, with summers in Cape Cod, winters in Palm Beach, Florida, and mansion life in Bronxville, an affluent suburb of New York.

Jean attended Manhattanville College where she befriended two future sisters-in-law; Ethel Skakel, (who married her older brother Robert in 1950) and Joan Bennett (who married her younger brother Ted in 1958). In fact, it was said that she was responsible for introducing both of the Kennedy brothers to their future wives.

In 1956, she married Stephen Edward Smith, who was closely involved with the political career of her older brother John. She worked on his 1946 Congressional campaign, his 1952 Senate campaign, and ultimately, his successful presidential campaign in 1960.

She and her husband were also, sadly, present at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles on June 5th, 1968, during the assassination of her brother Robert (Bobby) after he had won the 1968 Democratic California primary.

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