The Kennedy Curse refers to the misfortunes that seem to constantly befall members of the Kennedy clan. The family has been plagued by countless of mysterious accidents. The “curse” seems to be passed from generation to generation. Some claim that many of the unfortunate events that have occurred are quite normal and that it is not unusual that misfortune and accidents befall members of a large extended family. Others argue that the number of tragic accidents is much too large and thus the mysterious accidents can’t be attributed to coincidence.
A couple of theories aim to explain the origin of the Kennedy curse. One theory claims that the curse started with Joe Kennedy. It is said that in 1937 Joe, having just visited United Kingdom, was returning to the United States on a ship. The ship he was on also carried a Rabbi and six of his students. Joe complained that their prayers were distracting him and asked that they be stopped. The Rabbi was greatly offended and put a curse on Kennedy.
Another theory, very similar to the first, claims that when Joe was visiting Great Britain after WWII, a Jewish refugee asked Kennedy’s help in getting his sons out of Europe. Joe ignored him and the Jewish refugee put a curse on him. According to another theory, Joe was involved in selling weapons to Nazi Germany. When a Jewish town found out about this, all the residents prayed for a curse on the Kennedy family. Finally, an Irish legend says that a Kennedy family member once destroyed a fairy dwelling and in return, had the whole family cursed.
15. Rosemary Kennedy’s Lobotomy
Rose Marie Kennedy, better known as Rosemary, was the daughter of Joe Kennedy Sr. and Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy. Rosemary was the sister of President John. F. Kennedy and Senators Robert F. Kennedy and Ted Kennedy.
Rosemary’s story is a particularly tragic one. She was born with developmental problems and was described as having “mental retardation”. As a result, she was taken out of school and put under house arrest. She was later sent to various boarding schools and only got some reprieve when the family temporarily moved to Britain. However, when the family returned to America Rosemary was sent to a convent she particularly hated. As a result, she would often sneak out at night and go to bars.
Not knowing how to cure his daughter, Joe Sr. decided that lobotomy was the only option left. At the time, it was believed that removing parts of the brain could help those with mental illness. Rosemary was only 23 years old when she underwent the horrific procedure. Afterwards, she could not walk or talk for months. After months of therapy Rosemary could finally move on her own but only ever regained partial use of one of her arms. Rosemary was hidden from the rest of the world and died in 2005.
14. Joe P. Kennedy’s Jr. Plane Exploded
Joseph Patrick Kennedy Jr., better known just as Joe Kennedy Jr., was a United States Navy lieutenant. He was the eldest son of Joe Kennedy Sr. and Rose Fitzgerald. He was also Rosemary Kennedy’s brother.
Joe Jr. was supposed to eventually take up the Kennedy family business. But Joe Jr. had other plans. In 1942 he dropped out of law school and joined the U.S. Navy. He wanted to become a pilot. After a couple of years of numerous flight missions, Joe Jr. became eligible for stateside duty. Instead, Joe Jr. decided to volunteer for a dangerous and secret mission, known as Operation Aphrodite, which involved operating military drone aircraft.
In 1944, Joe Kennedy Jr. and Lieutenant Wilford John Willy prepared for the bombing mission and took off. Unfortunately, an electrical fault in the plane caused the explosives to detonate and in just a second both the plane and the two men were gone.
13. Kathleen Kennedy Died In A Plane Crash
Kathleen Kennedy, the daughter of Joe Kennedy Sr. and Rose Fitzgerald, was deeply admired by British aristocrats. She wasn’t extremely beautiful or smart, but she was adventurous and outgoing and she knew how to laugh at herself.
Soon after her debut in London, Kathleen met Billy Hartington, the future Duke of Devonshire and one of the richest men in the city. The two fell in love but the Kennedy family opposed the marriage because Hartington was a Protestant and the Kennedys were Catholic. Kathleen decided to marry Hartington anyways. The marriage was short-lived however, as Hartington returned to France to fight in the war and was killed by a sniper only four months after the wedding.
Two years later Kathleen started an affair with a married man, Earl Peter Wentworth Fitzwilliam. He told her he would leave his wife for her and marry her. Kathleen’s mother was furious but the pair arranged to meet Kathleen’s father in Paris in order to ask for his help. Two days before the meeting the pair was flying to Cannes when they stopped to refuel near Paris. The pilot said that taking off was dangerous due to extreme weather conditions but Fitzwilliam demanded they take off anyways. The plane crashed, instantly killing Kathleen, her lover, the pilot and the navigator.
12. Patrick Bouvier Kennedy Died Two Days After His Premature Birth
In 1963, John F. Kennedy and First Lady Jacqueline, were quite a happy couple. Kennedy was seen as a good President and Jackie was adored internationally for her grace and sophistication. They were in love and relatively happy. The only thing missing was the large family the two had hoped for.
In 1955, Jackie had a miscarriage. In 1966, she delivered a stillborn baby girl. But she was lucky the third and fourth time, giving birth to a baby girl Caroline and a baby boy John. In 1963, she was pregnant again. When she suffered from stomach and back pains, she demanded to be brought to the hospital immediately, not wanting to risk her unborn baby’s health. The baby, Patrick Bouvier Kennedy, was born three weeks early and suffered from a respiratory syndrome. Two days later, the baby died, much to the dismay and sorrow of his parents.
11. John F. Kennedy Was Assassinated
Fifteen weeks after his baby boy died due to a respiratory syndrome, John F. Kennedy was assassinated. At the time, he was preparing for his next presidential campaign. In September 1963 he travelled west and in just a week’s time spoke in nine different states. In October, he travelled to Boston and Philadelphia. His next stop was to be Texas, a state that not only suffered from a feud between party leaders but that was also home to a group of extremists that were contributing to political tension.
In Texas, the John F. Kennedy visited a few cities before moving towards Dallas. In Dallas, Kennedy and Jackie were riding in a motorcade in Dealey Plaza when a shot was fired and Kennedy was fatally shot. A man named Lee Harvey Oswald was arrested. Two days later Oswald was shot by a man named Jack Ruby before the former could stand trial.
10. Ted Kennedy Narrowly Escaped Death
Edward Moore Kennedy, better known as Ted Kennedy, was a United States Senator. Ted was the youngest brother of John. F. Kennedy and Robert F. Kennedy. In 1964, Ted narrowly escaped death when a plane crashed into an apple orchard. The pilot and one of Ted’s aides were killed. Kennedy survived but spent months in a hospital recovering from severe back pain, a punctured lung, broken ribs and internal bleeding. As a result of the accident, he suffered from back pain for the rest of his life.
Another accident soon followed. In 1969, Ted was at a party in Chappaquiddick Island. He left the party with a 28-year-old woman named Mary Jo Kopechne. Driving across a bridge he accidentally drove the car into a tidal channel. Ted escaped the vehicle and claimed that he dove below the surface a number of times in an attempt to try and save his companion. He was unsuccessful and left the scene. He contacted the authorities only the next day, thus causing a lot of questions about what actually happened that evening and whether Ted was as innocent as he claimed to be.
9. Robert F. Kennedy Was Assassinated
Robert F. Kennedy, known as “Bobby”, was the 64th U.S. Attorney General before he became a junior senator in 1965. He was John F. Kennedy’s brother.
In 1968 Bobby was a leading candidate for the Democratic nomination for presidency and especially appealed to the young, the poor, African-American, Hispanic and Catholic. On June 5th, he won a crucial victory in the California Democratic primary. He was ecstatic, but not for long. That same evening, he was assassinated by Sirhan Sirhan, a 22-year-old Palestinian sympathizer. Sirhan later said he murdered Bobby because he believed that Bobby played a major role in oppressing the Palestinian people. Sirhan had sneaked in a gun in a rolled up campaign poster. The assassination occurred only five years after the assassination of Bobby’s brother, John F. Kennedy.
8. Joseph P. Kennedy II Crashed A Car And Left His Passenger Paralyzed
Jospeh Patrick Kennedy II, better known simply as “Joe”, is the eldest son of Robert F. Kennedy. Joe was also not exempt from the Kennedy curse. He too was involved in a car accident in 1973. Bobby was the driver of the vehicle. When the car overturned on a Nantucket country road, Bobby was left unscathed. His passengers, however, did not get off as lightly. Bobby’s brother David Kennedy was also injured, quite severely. Two women passengers, Pamela Burkey and Pamela’s sister, were also affected. Pamela was injured worst of all – she became paralyzed from the chest down. In news reports and in stories about the Kennedy curse, Burkley is usually mentioned by her maiden name, Kelley, or not at all.
7. Ted Kennedy Jr. Had His Leg Amputated
Edward Moore Kennedy Jr., known as Ted Jr., is an American lawyer and politician. Ted Jr. is the son of Edward Ted Kennedy. He’s the nephew of John F. Kennedy and Robert F. Kennedy.
When Ted Jr. was only 12 years old he was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a type of cancer that starts in the bones. That same year he was diagnosed, Ted lost his leg from the knee down and was forced to undergo chemotherapy, at the time when this type of treatment was still considered experimental. He was the sixth person to enrol in a clinical trial for high-dose methotrexate. The methotrexate he received was 10 times the dose that patients are given today. Thankfully, it didn’t take the doctors long to discover that they could give Ted a much smaller dose and still have the same effect.
6. David A. Kennedy Died Of An Overdose
David Anthony Kennedy was the fourth child of Robert F. Kennedy. He was born in 1955 and had a very strong bond with his father. In 1968, only a few days before his 13th birthday, David almost drowned while he was swimming in the Pacific Ocean with his brothers and sisters. David was knocked over by a huge wave and was trapped under the water. Thankfully, his father rescued him. The next day, David watched as the broadcaster on TV reported his father’s assassination. Deeply traumatized, David began to use drugs to overcome the gloomy reality. But the Kennedy curse did not stop there. In 1973, David was in a car crash with his brother Joe Kennedy II. David was left with a fractured vertebra. In the hospital he became addicted to drugs and soon after he started using heroin. He overdosed on drugs in 1976 and 1978 but it was until 1985 that his drug overdose was fatal.
5. Michael LeMoyne Kennedy Died In A Skiing Accident
Michael LeMoyne Kennedy was the sixth child of Robert F. Kennedy. He was five years old when his uncle John F. Kennedy was assassinated and only ten years old when his own father was assassinated. His life, just like the lives of most Kennedys, was not an easy one. He got married at the age of 23. Thirteen years later, it was broadcast to the whole world that he was having an affair with the family’s former babysitter. It was claimed that the babysitter was only 14 years old when their affair began. Michael took and passed a polygraph test, claiming that the affair started when the babysitter was in actual fact 16 years old. Nonetheless, he was put under investigation for statutory rape. That same year, Michael was skiing in Aspen Mountain, Colorado when he hit a tree. He died shortly after.
4. John F. Kennedy Jr. Died In A Plane Crash
John Fitzgerald Kennedy Junior, known as JFK Jr. or John John, was the only surviving son of John F. Kennedy and the nephew of Edward Kennedy. His father was assassinated merely three days before his third birthday.
John F Kennedy Jr. died at the age of 39 in a plane crash. John F Kennedy Jr., his wife and his sister-in-law were on their way to attend the wedding of his cousin Rory Kennedy. He was piloting the airplane when it crashed into the Atlantic off Martha’s Vineyards in Massachusetts.
For a while, it was hoped that JFK Jr., his wife and his sister-in-law were alive. However, once aircraft debris and a black suitcase belonging to the passengers were recovered, that did not seem very probable. The wreckage of the plane was eventually discovered below the Atlantic Ocean and the three bodies were also found.
3. Kara Kennedy Died Of A Heart Attack
Kara Anne Kennedy Allen was the oldest child of Ted Kennedy. She was also the niece of John F. Kennedy and Robert F. Kennedy. Overall, she led quite a happy life and it almost seemed like the Kennedy curse had bypassed her. In 2002, at the age of 42, she was diagnosed with lung cancer and for a while it seemed like the Kennedy Curse was out to claim her. She was told that the disease was inoperable but with the help of her father she found a surgeon who was willing to operate her. The surgery was successful. She was in the clear. However, in 2011, at the age of 51, she suffered a heart attack after her daily exercise routine and died, only two years after her father’s death.
2. Mary Richardson Kennedy Took Her Own Life
Can the Kennedy Curse haunt those that are not Kennedy’s by blood? It turns out that it can. Mary Richardson was boarding school friends with Kerry Kennedy and was even her maid of honor in 1990. Four years later, Mary was marrying Robert F. Kennedy Jr. But while the marriage seemed perfect on the outside, it was anything but in reality. For some reason, Mary had taken up drinking. For Robert Kennedy, this was a painful scenario – he himself had just overcome his drinking problem. He decided to get her professional help but she was against it, even jumping out of a car that was about to bring her to the hospital. There were numerous incidents involving the police and it did not seem like Mary was getting any better. Robert Jr. feared that his wife might kill herself, and in the end, she did just that.
1. Kerry Kennedy Sideswiped A Tractor Trailer On Interstate 684
Kerry Kennedy is the seventh child of Robert F. Kennedy and the niece of John F. Kennedy and Ted Kennedy. Kerry’s life has been rather successful. Nothing particularly traumatic or tragic has occurred, although she too has fallen victim to small accidents. For example, in 2012 it was said that Kerry sideswiped a tractor trailer on Interstate 684. She was found by the police in her car and it was reported that she could barely speak and was swaying from side to side. She claimed that she might have taken a sleeping pill earlier and that it might have caused the accident. At court she claimed that the doctor found no traces of drugs or alcohol and that it is possible she suffered from a seizure. Eighteen months before this incident, Kerry was in a car crash and suffered from a head injury.