A Kennedy family portrait. Circa 1958

The Kennedy family is an American family of Irish descent that is prominent in American politics, government, public service, and business. The first Kennedys to reside in America were Patrick Kennedy and Bridget Murphy, who sailed from Ireland to America in 1849. Their son P. J. went into politics and business. P. J. and his wife Mary Hickey were the parents of businessman and politician Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr. The children of Joseph Sr. and Rose Fitzgerald were Joseph Jr., John, Rosemary, Eunice, Patricia, Robert, Jean, and Ted. Joseph served as president-general, John became a publisher, while Robert and Ted both became prominent senators. 

Kennedy and Marilyn

John F. Kennedy and Marilyn Monroe with their first child Caroline on the cover of Life magazine.

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 Joseph P. Kennedy School of Government. The wealth and glamour of the family members, as well as their extensive and continuing involvement in public service, have elevated them to iconic status over the past half-century, with the Kennedys sometimes referred to as "America's Royal Family".

Joseph Sr. pinned his hopes on eldest son, Joseph Jr., to enter politics and be elected president. Soon after Joseph was elected in 1960, he, Robert, and Ted all held prominent positions in the government. They received intense publicity, often emphasizing their relative youth, allure, education, and future in politics. Between 1947 and 2011, there were 64 years with a Kennedy in elective office in Washington. This spans more than a quarter of the nation's existence.

Family Line

Joseph Patrick "Joe" Kennedy, Sr.


Joseph P. Kennedy Jr.

  • James P. Kennedy
  • Jospeh P. Kennedy III
  • Francis Kennedy
  • Xavier Kennedy

Rosemary Kennedy

John F. Kennedy 

  • Carolina M. Kennedy 
  • John F. Kennedy Jr.
  • Patrick M. Kennedy
  • Arabella Norma M. Kennedy

Robert F. Kennedy 

  • Kathleen Kennedy (born 1951),
  • Joseph Kennedy (born 1952),
  • Robert Kennedy Jr. (born 1954)
  • David Kennedy (1955–1984),
  • Courtney Kennedy (born 1956)
  • Michael Kennedy (1958–1997)
  • Kerry Kennedy (born 1959),
  • Christopher Kennedy (born 1963)
  • Max Kennedy (born 1965)
  • Douglas Kennedy (born 1967) 
  • Rory Kennedy (born 1968). 

Ted Kennedy

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