Kennedy Curse: What is it?

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The Kennedy Curse refers to a series of misfortunes, including assassinations, plane crashes, miscarriages, and drug overdoses, suffered by the prominent political family. Some believe it is an actual curse, while others see it as a metaphor for the tragedies that have befallen the family due to their fame, wealth, and power. The curse has also extended to those connected to the Kennedys by marriage and even to people casually familiar with family members.

The Kennedy Curse refers to a series of misfortunes suffered by one of America’s most prominent political families, the Kennedys. Unnatural deaths and unfortunate events have also extended to those connected to the Kennedys by marriage, such as Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, and even to people casually familiar with family members. In the context of conspiracy theories, some believe that the Kennedy Curse is the result of an actual curse cast against the family as a kind of revenge. Others argue that the entire concept is largely a mass media invention, intended to create hype. In the most popular sense, however, the “Kennedy Curse” is simply a metaphor for the series of tragedies that have befallen the family, which may be in part due to the fame, wealth and power that brought them attention in the first place.

The murderers

Perhaps the most devastating and memorable examples of the Kennedy Curse are the public assassinations of United States President John F. Kennedy in 1963 and his brother, Robert F. Kennedy, in 1968. Both died of gunshot wounds and it was rumored that their deaths marked the end of an era known as “Camelot,” a term coined by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis to describe a period of happiness.

Aviation related deaths

An adventurous and competitive family, many of the Kennedys were avid aviators, and as such, a number of deaths and dangerous accidents attributed to the Kennedy Curse involve airplanes. As early as 1944, Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr., older brother of John F. Kennedy and Robert F. Kennedy, was killed when the plane in which he was flying a World War II mission exploded over the English Channel. His sister, Kathleen Kennedy Cavendish, died in a plane crash in France four years later. In 1964, Massachusetts Senator Edward (Ted) Kennedy became the first Kennedy to survive a plane crash, while his nephew, Joseph P. Kennedy II, found himself hostage on a plane hijacked by Palestinians in 1972. John F. Kennedy , Jr., his wife, Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy, and his sister-in-law, Lauren Bessette, died in 1999 while en route to Martha’s Vineyard when JFK Jr. crashed the plane into the Atlantic Ocean after making a series of piloting.

jackie o

One of the most famous and beloved Kennedys by marriage, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis also experienced a series of misfortunes after her introduction into the family. In 1954, she suffered a miscarriage and two years later gave birth to a stillborn daughter who is buried next to her at Arlington National Cemetery and is said to have been named Arabella. In 1963, Kennedy Onassis was again overwhelmed by the loss of her when her son, Patrick Bouvier Kennedy, died two days after her birth. Ten years later, after marrying Greek shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis, Kennedy Onassis’ new stepson Alexander died in a plane crash. In 1988, Kennedy Onassis lost another stepdaughter, Christina, to heart failure related to substance abuse.


The curse would strike completely outside the family in 1969, when Senator Ted Kennedy was driving a young woman, Mary Jo Kopechne, home from a party on Chappaquiddick Island, not far from Martha’s Vineyard. According to reports, the Senator mistakenly drove off a bridge into a canal and the car sank into the water. Kennedy was able to swim freely, but Kopechne was trapped in the car and died. The incident made headlines in the media, sparked a series of investigations and hearings, and many believe it destroyed the senator’s chances of running for president. Shortly after the hearing on the fatal crash that discovered Kennedy was driving unsafely, Kennedy’s wife suffered a miscarriage. Notably, Ted Kennedy himself questioned whether there was a curse on his family in a televised statement following the incident.

More victims of the curse
Several grandsons of the late John F. Kennedy have also died or been injured in unusually tragic circumstances. In 1973, 12-year-old Edward Kennedy, Jr., son of Ted Kennedy, lost his right leg to bone cancer. Two of Robert and Ethel Kennedy’s children suffered untimely deaths, including David Kennedy, who died of a cocaine and Demerol overdose in 12. Michael Kennedy later died in a skiing accident in 1984 after colliding with a tree during a game of american football.

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