While the United States doesn’t have a royal family, the Kennedys are as close to royalty as you’ll find on American soil. The famous family made most of their reported $1 billion fortune in real estate and investments, but then took a substantial leap into politics, allowing the American public a glimpse into the lives of the fabulously rich and famous.
While the Kennedy clan may have lived in luxury, things haven’t always gone smoothly for the larger group. In fact, the Kennedy family has suffered more tragedy than most, leading the public and even some family members to believe that the group has been cursed.
Today marks the 20th anniversary of the death of John Kennedy Junior, the son of the president and Jackie Kennedy died along with his wife and sister-in-law in an accident in a plane piloted by him. Between the shadow of death, political aspirations and the rumor of an affair with Lady Di.
The death of the son of the assassinated President John F Kennedy, once again increased the idea about the existence of the so-called “curse” of the Kennedys.
What is the Kennedy family curse?
The Kennedy family curse refers to a long series of calamities that befell America’s ‘royal’ family.
Joseph and Rose Kennedy had nine children, four of whom died prematurely. One was institutionalized for the duration of his life, and another was involved in various incidents, including a plane crash that nearly killed him. The calamity did not end with the children of Rose and Joe. In fact, several of Joe and Rose Kennedy’s grandchildren also met tragic ends. In short, the family appears to have suffered an unusually high number of personal tragedies, lending credence to the idea of a family curse. Where the curse may have come from is shrouded in mystery.
A disproportionate number of Kennedys have died in plane crashes.
The Kennedy family is no stranger to aviation tragedies. As of 2019, four members of the Kennedy family have been involved in plane crashes, and three of them have died as a result.
John F. Kennedy Jr., the only surviving son of John F. Kennedy and Jackie Kennedy Onassis, died in a plane crash in 1999. The younger Kennedy was flying a small plane to Massachusetts for a family wedding when his plane crashed in The Atlantic ocean. Pilot error was the cause of the crash that claimed the lives of JFK Jr, his wife Carolyn Bessette and Carolyn’s sister Lauren.
While the early disappearance of JFK Jr is among the most well-known aeronautical catastrophe to the family, he was not the first Kennedy to be involved in a plane crash.
In 1964, Senator Ted Kennedy was seriously injured in a plane crash, also in Massachusetts. Kennedy suffered several broken bones, and the pilot, as well as a legislative aide, were killed.
Two other Kennedys lost their lives in plane crashes. Kick Kennedy, the daughter of Joseph and Rose Kennedy, died in a minor plane crash at the age of 28. In 1964, Joseph Patrick Kennedy Jr. died during a dangerous World War II mission.
Accidents, illnesses and deaths plagued the Kennedy clan
The Kennedys didn’t just have a problem with plane crashes. Clashes and destruction have plagued them for decades. The first whiff of tragedy came when Rosemary Kennedy was treated for rumors of developmental problems with a lobotomy. The controversial surgery left Rosemary unable to care for herself. She remained institutionalized until her death at age 85. According to People, Rosemary’s radical surgery and her subsequent condition were hidden from the public and even from her siblings. In the 1960s, the family faced even more tragedy. John F. Kennedy’s infant son, Patrick, died after being born prematurely, and just three months later JFK was assassinated in Dallas. Robert Kennedy was shot dead in 1968, five years after the death of his brother.
In the 1970s and 1980s, drug overdoses, cancer, and car accidents took their toll on the family. In 1973, Edward Kennedy Jr. lost his leg to bone cancer; Edward Kennedy’s cancer diagnosis was the same year that Joseph Kennedy, the eldest son of Robert and Ethel Kennedy, was in a car accident that left a female passenger paralyzed.
In 1984, David Kennedy, another son of Robert and Ethel Kennedy, was found dead in Florida. He allegedly died of a drug overdose. The immediate family took a break from the tragedy until 1997, when Michael Kennedy died in a horrific skiing accident. Earlier this year, Michael was embroiled in controversy when he was accused of having an affair with the nanny of his children.
In 1999 John Kennedy Jr. dies in the aforementioned plane crash.