Research by Steven L. Brawley


  • Rosemary Kennedy, who had intellectual disabilites, is institutionalized following a failed lobotomy. She is the eldest Kennedy daughter of Joseph and Rose. She would inspire her sister Eunice Kennedy Shriver to create the Special Olympics.


  • Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr., the oldest Kennedy son, dies in a plane crash over the English Channel during World War II. The pilot was 29 at the time of his death.


  • Kathleen Kennedy Cavendish dies in a plane crash in France at age 28. Her husband, William John Robert Cavendish, the Marquess of Hartington, died in World War II.


  • Jackie Kennedy gives birth to a stillborn daughter whom they planned to name Arabella.


  • On December 19, 1961, at the age of 73, Joseph Kennedy Sr. suffers a massive stroke. He survived but was left paralyzed on his right side and with a language disorder, aphasia, that severely affected his ability to speak. 


  • Joan Kennedy suffers miscarriage. (Would also miscarry again in 1964 and 1969).
  • Patrick Bouvier Kennedy, the second son of President Kennedy and his wife Jackie, dies on August 7, two days after he was born almost six weeks premature.
  • President John F. Kennedy is assassinated on Nov. 22 in Dallas. He was 46.


  • Senator Edward M. Kennedy, the youngest Kennedy child, escapes death in a plane crash that claims an aide, Edward Moss.


  • Patricia Kennedy Lawford (sister of President Kennedy) and her husband Peter Lawford (actor) divorce.


  • Robert F. Kennedy is assassinated on June 5 in Los Angeles. The 42 year old had just won California's Democratic presidential primary election.


  • Senator Edward M. Kennedy, drives off a bridge on his way home from a party on Massachusetts' Chappaquiddick Island. Mary Jo Kopechne, an aide who was in the car with him, dies in the accident.


  • Edward M. Kennedy, Jr., the senator's son, loses his right leg to cancer.
  • Joseph P. Kennedy 2d, the son of Robert and Ethel, is the driver in a car accident on Cape Cod that leaves one passenger permanently paralyzed.


  • Senator Edward Kennedy fails in his attempt to capture the Democratic presidential nomination after a bitter feud with President Jimmy Carter and constant reminders of the 1969 Chappaquiddick incident.


  • Senator Edward Kennedy and his wife Joan divorce.


  • David A. Kennedy, son of Robert, dies of a drug overdose in a Palm Beach, Florida, hotel. He was 28.


  • William Kennedy Smith, the son of Jean Kennedy Smith, is accused of raping a woman at the family's Palm Beach, Florida, vacation home. He is tried and acquitted.


  • Jackie Kennedy Onassis dies of non-Hodgkins lymphoma.


  • Michael Kennedy, the son of Robert, dies in a skiing accident in Aspen, Colorado. He was 39. Prior to the accident, Michael made headlines for allegedly having a long-term affair with his children's babysitter.


  • John F. Kennedy, Jr., his wife, Carolyn Bessette Kennedy, and his sister-in-law, Lauren Bessette, die when their plane crashes in the waters off Martha's Vineyard, Ma. Kennedy was flying the Piper Saratoga plane that plunged into the Atlantic Ocean.


  • Michael Skakel, nephew of Ethel Kennedy, was found guilty in June by a Connecticut jury of the 1975 murder of Martha Moxley. Skakel was 15 when Moxley, also 15, was found bludgeoned to death outside her Greenwich, Conn., home. Skakel was sentenced to 20 years to life in prison in August.


  • After years of chronic alcoholism, Joan Kennedy (former wife of Senator Edward Kennedy) becomes so incapacitated that her son Ted Jr. is appointed her legal guardian; in 2005 her children were granted temporary guardianship. That year, she was hospitalized with a concussion and a broken shoulder after being found lying in a Boston street near her home. At her request in 2005, her second cousin, financial planner Webster E. Janssen of Connecticut, established a trust controlling her estate in violation of her sons' guardianship. Her children later took successful legal action against Janssen, removing him as trustee and later filing a complaint against him with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. That October, She was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent surgery. She agreed to strict court-ordered guardianship and her estate has since been placed in a new trust overseen by two court-appointed trustees.


  • Rosemary Kennedy dies on January 7 in Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin, at age 86.


  • U.S. Representative Patrick Kennedy, son of Senator Edward and Joan Kennedy, admits himself into drug rehab after series of car accidents. He is re-admitted in 2009 and chooses not to run for re-election.


  • Senator Edward Kennedy is diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor on May 20.


  • Senator Edward Kennedy dies on August 25. His sister, Eunice Kennedy Shriver, died two weeks earlier, on August 11.


  • Kara Kennedy, the daughter of Sen. Edward M. "Ted" Kennedy dies on September 16 of a heart attack. She was 51. Kennedy was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2002.


  • Mary Richardson Kennedy, the 52-year-old estranged wife of Robert F. Kennedy Jr., is found dead in the barn of her Bedford, N.Y., home. She died of an apparent suicide.
  • Kerry Kennedy, the daughter of Robert and Ethel Kennedy, sideswiped a tractor trailer on Interstate 684 while under the influence of zolpidem, which Kennedy claimed to have mistaken for her daily thyroid medication. She was acquitted on all charges on February 28, 2014.


Copyright Steven L. Brawley, 2002-2015. All Rights Reserved.