The Kennedys are perhaps America’s most beloved and influential political dynasty, beginning even before John F. Kennedy and his wife,
Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis captured the nation’s hearts and minds during his short presidency. Every year between 1947 and 2011, and then from 2013 onwards, at least one Kennedy family member has held federal elective office. That’s more than a quarter of the nation’s existence with a Kennedy at the helm. And while most have gone into politics and public service, they’ve also entered the popular culture consciousness as well. Maria Shriver, for example, the daughter of Sargent Shriver and Eunice Kennedy, married Arnold Schwarzenegger (and their daughter, Katherine Schwarzegger, might be one day be headed down the aisle with Chris Pratt). And the next generation of Millennial Kennedy scions are taking the social scene by storm, including Jack Schlossberg, who attended the Met Gala with his mother, Caroline Kennedy, in 2018. Plus, Patrick Schwarzenegger dated Miley Cyrus, Conor Kennedy dated Taylor Swift, and Kyra Kennedy parties with Gaia Matisse. In sum, the Kennedy family has experienced a tragic amount of loss and scandal, but they’ve also made more positive contributions to society than the Kardashians, Jenners, Hiltons, Trumps—name any name—combined. Here, on what would have been John F. Kennedy, Jr.’s 68th birthday, a deeper look at one of America’s most iconic families.
President John F. Kennedy, his wife Jackie and their children John Jr. and Caroline
President John Kennedy and his wife Jackie and their children John Jr. and Caroline in Palm Beach, Florida in 1963. Ms. Kennedy lost two other children early in life, Arabella and Patrick.
Jackie Onassis and Caroline Kennedy
Jackie Onassis and Caroline Kennedy attend Courtney Kennedy’s wedding to Jeff Ruhe at Holy Trinity Church in Georgetown, Washington D.C., in 1980.
Caroline Kennedy and Edwin Schlossberg
Caroline Kennedy married her husband, the designer, author, and artist Edwin Schlossberg in Hyannis Port, Massachusetts in 1986. They had three children together, Rose, Tatiana, and Jack.
Caroline Kennedy and Jack Schlossberg
Caroline Kennedy attends “Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garcons: Art Of The In-Between” Costume Institute Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art with her son, Jack Schlossberg in May 2017. He bears a resemblance to her late brother, John F. Kennedy Jr.
John Jr. and Caroline Kennedy with their mother, Jacqueline Kennedy
John F. Kennedy Jr., his sister Caroline Kennedy, and their mother, Jacqueline Kennedy sit together at an event in the late 1970s.
John Kennedy Jr. enjoying a hot Labor Day Weekend in Hyannis Beach, Massachusetts, where the Kennedy clan often spent summers.
John F. Kennedy Jr. and his wife, Carolyn Bessette Kennedy
John F. Kennedy Jr. and his wife, Carolyn Bessette Kennedy at an event in 1998. The couple wed two years earlier in 1996.
Even as an adult, John F. Kennedy Jr. loved to spend summers in Hyannis Port. Tragically, in 1999 he and his wife died in a plane crash on the way to the wedding of his cousin, Rory Kennedy in Hyannis Port.
John F. Kennedy Jr. and Maria Shriver
John F. Kennedy, Jr. and his sister Caroline are cousins with Maria Shriver, whose parents were Eunice Kennedy and Robert Shriver.
Arnold Schwarzenegger and the Shriver Family
Bobby Shriver, Christopher Shriver, Eunice Shriver, Anthony Shriver, Maria Shriver, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Sargent Shriver pose for a family photo.
Maria Shriver and her children
Patrick Schwarzenegger, Christina Schwarzenegger, Maria Shriver, Katherine Schwarzenegger and Christopher Schwarzenegger pose for a family photo. Patrick dated Miley Cyrus and Christina and Katherine are aspiring models.
John F. Kennedy Jr. with cousins Sydney and Chris Lawford
John Jr. and Caroline Kennedy’s other cousins include Sydney and Chris Lawford, whose parents were Patricia Kennedy and Peter Lawford.
Chris Lawford and Bianca Jagger
Here, Chris Lawford parties with Bianca Jagger at Studio 54 in 1970. Lawford battled with drug abuse problems as a young adult, but the death of his cousin David Kennedy to an overdose forced him to seek help. Today, he’s a philanthropist.
William Kennedy Smith and Brooke Shields
William Kennedy Smith, the son of Jean Ann Kennedy and Stephen Smith, went to prep school in Connecticut with Brooke Shields.
Edward “Ted” Kennedy, Ted Kennedy, Jr., and Kara Kennedy
Edward “Ted” Kennedy, the brother of John F. Kennedy, had three children with his first wife, Virginia Joan Bennett: Kara, Edward Jr., and Patrick, all of whom went into politics and public service.
Joseph P. Kennedy II, the son of Bobby Kennedy, served as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from the 8th congressional district of Massachusetts from 1987 to 1999.
Joseph P. Kennedy’s son, Joseph P. Kennedy III has been serving as the U.S. Representative for Massachusetts’s 4th congressional district since 2013.
Michaela Kennedy Cuomo and Mariah Kennedy Cuomo
Michaela Kennedy Cuomo and Mariah Kennedy Cuomo are the daughters of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and his ex-wife, Kerry Kennedy, the third daughter of Bobby Kennedy.
Rory Kennedy, the youngest child Bobby Kennedy, went on to be a successful documentary filmmaker, with titles like
Ghosts of Abu Ghraib and Last Days in Vietnam.
Robert Kennedy Jr. and Cheryl Hines
Robert Kennedy Jr., the other son of Bobby Kennedy, is an environmental activist and attorney, who also went on to marry the actress Cheryl Hines. She is his third wife.
Kyra Kennedy, the daughter of Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and his second wife, Mary Richardson, can often be found partying with Gaia Matisse, the great, great granddaughter of Henri Matisse.
Conor Kennedy is also the son of Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and his second wife, Mary Richardson. He briefly dated Taylor Swift in 2012 and was arrested in 2017 following a bar fight in Aspen, Colorado.
Bobby Kennedy III is the son of Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and his first wife, Emily Ruth Black. He is an aspiring actor and director.
Kick Kennedy is the daughter of Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and his first wife Emily Ruth Black. She’s made acting appearances on
Gossip Girl, Curb Your Enthusiasm, and The Newsroom.
Patrick Schwarzenegger is the oldest son of Maria Shriver, a journalist who is a member of the Kennedy family, and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
Katherine Schwarzenegger is the daughter of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver, and the grand niece of John F. Kennedy. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.