Day 81 - Kennedy Family
The Kennedy family is a prominent family in American politics and government, descending from the marriage of the Irish-Americans Joseph Patrick "Joe" Kennedy, Sr. and Rose Elizabeth Fitzgerald. Their political involvement has revolved around the Democratic Party. Harvard University educations have been common among them, and they have contributed heavily to that university's John F. Kennedy School of Government. The wealth, glamor, and photogenic quality of the family members, as well as their extensive and continuing involvement in public service, has elevated them to iconic status over the past half-century, with the Kennedys sometimes referred to as "America's Royal Family".
Joseph Patrick "Joe" Kennedy, Jr. was the first born of Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr. On him, Joe, Sr. pinned his hopes that his son would enter politics and be elected president. After Joe, Jr. was killed in World War II, those hopes then fell on his second eldest son John Fitzgerald "Jack" Kennedy, to become president. Soon after Jack was elected President in November 1960, he and his younger brothers, Robert Francis "Bobby" Kennedy and Edward Moore "Ted" Kennedy, all held prominent positions in the federal government. They received intense publicity, often emphasizing their relative youth, allure, education, and future in politics. From 1947, when Jack became a member of Congress, to 2011, when Patrick Joseph Kennedy II departed Congress, there were 64 years with a Kennedy in elective office in Washington (excluding a short gap of less than a month in between Jack resigning his Senate seat prior to his inauguration as President). This spans more than a quarter of the nation's existence. There was only a brief hiatus following Patrick's retirement from Congress in 2011, and the 2013 swearing in of Joseph P. Kennedy III.
The family has suffered numerous tragedies, contributing to the idea of "the Kennedy curse". Rosemary suffered a failed lobotomy, Jack and Bobby were both assassinated, Ted was involved in the Chappaquiddick incident, and four family members were in airplane crashes: Joe, Jr., Kick, Ted, and John F. Kennedy, Jr. All of these plane crashes were fatal except for Ted's.