The Kennedy Curse

The Kennedy curse describes the series of unfortunate events that befalled the Kennedy family, a US family that was heavily involved in politics, with of course John F. Kennedy notably being the 35th President of the United States, alongside many members who were state senators. The family is known for their terrible luck and misfortune, which has led many people to believe that they were cursed. There are numerous explanations as to how the family received this curse, but no real evidence to suggest that any of the events reported to have caused the curse actually happened, so in this post, we will just look at the timeline of events and I will try my best to be chronological.

So we will first begin with Rosemary Kennedy, the daughter of Joseph Kennedy Senior, and JFK’s sister. Rosemary Kennedy had several mental health issues that at the time were not well understood, and back in the early 20th century, not widely accepted. The Kennedy’s being a reputable family, were ashamed of their daughter, and feared that she would ruin their reputation. Eventually, Joseph Kennedy Senior could not cope with her mood swings any longer, and had her undergo a lobotomy. Unfortunately, like many lobotomy’s conducted at the time, the surgery was not successful and left her severely disabled, with the mental capacity of a 12 year old, and she remained in an institution until her death in 2005. Next, Joseph Kennedy Jr, JFK’s older brother, was killed in 1944, after joining the Second World War as a pilot. Shortly after in the same year, Kathleen Kennedy, another sibling of JFK, lost her husband 4 months after they married, and was killed herself in a 1948 plane crash. Jacqueline Kennedy, wife of JFK experienced her own tragedy when she gave birth to still born daughter Arabella, followed by a son called Patrick who was born prematurely and died two days later.

The most well known tragedy faced by the Kennedy family, was of course the assassination of the President, John F. Kennedy, who was killed in 1963. Following JFK’s assassination, his brother and U.S. Senator at the time, Ted Kennedy was involved in a plane crash in 1964. Whilst it was not fatal, Ted had a broken back, broken ribs and a punctured lung. But this was not the last of Ted’s misfortune. In the following years, Ted was involved in the Chappaquiddick incident, in which he drove his car off a bridge, killing 28 year old Mary Jo Kopechne. Whilst most people would call for help immediately after the incident, Ted, after managing to escape the vehicle, did not contact emergency services until 9 hours later, and on recovery of Mary Jo’s body it was said that had the emergency services been immediately alerted, she could have been saved. At the time Ted was married, and the nationwide scandal could have been the cause for his wife’s miscarriage, as well as rumours that Mary Jo had been much more than a companion to him. Ted never went to prison for the incident, but he was quoted in saying that during the night of the incident he had wondered whether a curse really did hang over the Kennedy family. Later in 1973, Ted had his leg removed due to bone cancer. Tragedy struck again in 1968, in which Robert Kennedy, the younger brother of JFK was also assassinated following his California Democratic primary win.

The next generation of Kennedy’s also had their fair share of bad luck. In 1973, Joseph P. Kennedy II was involved in a car crash that whilst he survived, left his passenger paralysed. Robert F. Kennedy’s (brother of JFK) son, David Kennedy died of a cocaine overdose in his hotel room, and another one of JFK’s nephews was charged of rape in 1991, although he was acquitted. Another one of Robert F. Kennedy’s sons, Michael, was killed in a skiing accident in 1997, and JFK’s own son, John F. Kennedy Jr. died in a plane crash that also killed his wife and sister-in-law. More recently in 2011, Ted Kennedy’s daughter died of a heart attack whilst exercising, after suffering from lung cancer years previous. After losing two sons, Robert F. Kennedy’s wife committed suicide in 2012 after Robert decided to end their marriage.

If you didn’t believe the Kennedy family were cursed before, you will now – it is shocking how so many deaths in the family were attributed to unnatural causes, and to have multiple members of the family lose the majority of their children. Do you think the Kennedy family is cursed, or is it simply down to coincidence?

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