Kennedys America’s Royal Family, The Kennedy family is a prominent family in American politics and government, descending from Irish farmers John Kennedy (1738“1803) and Bridget Shallow (1744“1774). Their son James Kennedy (1770“1835) inherited his father’s farm. James and his wife Maria (1779“1835) had three sons, the youngest of which was farmer Patrick Kennedy (1823“1858). Patrick met his future wife, Bridget Murphy (c. 1824“1888), while they were sailing from Ireland to America in 1849.
Patrick and Bridget’s younger son was businessman/politician Patrick Joseph “P.J.” Kennedy (1858“1929). The elder son of P.J. and his wife Mary Augusta Hickey (1857“1923) was U.S. England Ambassador Joseph Patrick “Joe” Kennedy, Sr. (1888“1969). The four sons of Joe Sr. and his wife philanthropist/socialite Rose Elizabeth Fitzgerald (1890“1995) were Joseph Patrick “Joe” Kennedy, Jr. (1915“1944), John Fitzgerald “Jack” Kennedy (1917“1963), Robert Francis “Bobby” Kennedy (1925“1968), and Edward Moore “Ted” Kennedy (1932“2009). Jack served as President from January 1961 to his death in November 1963 while Bobby and Ted both became prominent Senators. The Kennedys’ 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”.
Joe Sr. originally pinned his hopes on eldest son Joe Jr. to enter politics and be elected president. After Joe Jr. was killed in World War II, those hopes then fell on his second eldest son Jack, to become president. Soon after Jack was elected President in November 1960, he, Bobby, and Ted 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 Ted’s younger son Patrick Joseph Kennedy II (born 1967) 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.