The Curious Case of the Kennedys: A Timeline

The assassinations of John F. Kennedy and Robert F. Kennedy weren’t the first or last tragedies to hit the Kennedy family. The tragic Kennedy deaths started in 1941 with JFK’s sister, Rosemary Kennedy, and have continued as recently as 1999 when JFK Jr. died in a plane crash.

Here’s a roundup of the deaths preceding the Kennedy brothers and following their mother.

August 1963: Patrick Kennedy

Shortly before the assassination of John F. Kennedy, Jacqueline Kennedy gave birth to a premature baby with respiratory disease. The couple christened him Patrick Bouvier Kennedy and got 39 hours before he passed away due to the complications of his condition.

Before Patrick, the Kennedys had already experienced a miscarriage and stillbirth. While their loss was no different from the loss of other parents, it encouraged further research and breakthroughs in infantile respiratory disease.

May 1948: Kathleen Cavendish (née Kennedy)

Kathleen Cavendish became the Marchioness of Harington in her mid-20s when she married Lord Harington in May 1944. She was better known as the second of JFK’s sisters and had quite a social life.

Tragedy first struck the socialite with the death of her husband just four months after their marriage. Four years later, at 28 years old, it would come for her in the form of a plane crash.

A Computer-Generated Image of President John F. Kennedy Looking Down With Crossed Arms

August 1944: Joe Kennedy Jr.

Kathleen was the second of Joseph P. Kennedy Sr.’s children to die in their 20s. The first was his eldest son, Joe Kennedy Jr., who had started a political career to become the first catholic president of the United States before World War II.

He enlisted in the US Naval Reserve during the war and trained as a naval aviator, completing 25 successful missions before taking part in his final one at just 29 years, which saw him carry an explosive that went off early, killing him and his co-pilot instantly.

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