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Michael LeMoyne Kennedy

Updated: 2017-09-01T02:41Z
Michael LeMoyne Kennedy
Michael LeMoyne Kennedy, 1987.jpg
Kennedy in 1987
Born(1958-02-27)February 27, 1958
Washington, D.C., U.S.
DiedDecember 31, 1997(1997-12-31) (aged 39)
Aspen, Colorado, U.S.
Cause of deathSkiing accident
Resting placeHolyhood Cemetery, Brookline, Massachusetts
Alma materHarvard University (B.A.)
University of Virginia (J.D.)
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Victoria Denise Gifford
(m. 1981)
Parent(s)Robert F. Kennedy
Ethel Kennedy

Michael LeMoyne Kennedy (February 27, 1958 – December 31, 1997) was the sixth of eleven children of Robert F. Kennedy and Ethel Skakel.

Early life

Kennedy was born in Washington, D.C. He was 5 years old when his uncle, President of the United States John F. Kennedy, was assassinated and 10 years old when his father, presidential candidate, Robert F. Kennedy, also was assassinated.

Education and career

He graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from Harvard College in 1980, and subsequently earned his Juris Doctor from the University of Virginia School of Law in 1984.

Kennedy was the head of his brother Joe's non-profit organization, Citizens Energy Corporation, which provides heating oil and services to elderly and poor households in Massachusetts and other cold weather states. He also helped organize his uncle Ted Kennedy's re-election campaign for the U.S. Senate against Mitt Romney in 1994.

Kennedy co-chaired the Walden Woods Project, a non-profit organization to preserve Walden Pond in Concord, Massachusetts. In 1994, he co-founded Stop Handgun Violence, a group that raises public awareness about handguns.[1]

Personal life

Kennedy married Victoria Denise Gifford, daughter of former pro-football player and sportscaster Frank Gifford[2] and Maxine Avis Ewart, on March 14, 1981, in New York City.[3]

They had one son, Michael LeMoyne Kennedy, Jr. (born January 9, 1983), and two daughters, Kyle Rose Kennedy (born July 6, 1984), Rory Elizabeth Kennedy (born November 14, 1987), and resided in Cohasset, Massachusetts, until his death in December 1997. His son Michael, Jr. and his wife Mary (Campbell) had son, Michael LeMoyne Kennedy III in December 2014 and daughter Quinn Victoria Ethel Kennedy in 2016. Kyle and her husband Liam Kerr had sons Conor Nash Kerr (Sep 26 2014- and Declan Francis Kerr (2016-. A daughter, Conor's twin sister Josephine Ethel Kerr, died in infancy in Sep 2014.

In 1997 the news broke that Michael, Sr., was having an affair with the family's former babysitter. Allegations were reported that the affair had begun three years before, when the babysitter was 14 years old. Kennedy took and passed three polygraph tests claiming he had not had sex with the Cohasset teen until she was 16, the legal age of consent in Massachusetts at the time. Kennedy was placed under investigation for statutory rape.[4] The babysitter, however, did not cooperate with prosecutors.[citation needed] Shortly after the scandal began, Kennedy and his wife separated.[4] After the affair, he checked himself into a Maryland rehab center for alcoholics.[4]


Last picture of Michael Kennedy, taken the day that he died, December 31, 1997.

Kennedy died on December 31, 1997, in a skiing accident in Aspen Mountain, Colorado. He was playing football while on skis with several other members of the Kennedy family when at approximately 4:15 p.m. he hit a tree. Kennedy was not wearing a helmet or other safety equipment. Some have stated that the family had been previously warned by the ski patrol to cease the activity.[2] Others have stated that the ski patrol issued no such warnings.[5] Following the accident Kennedy was taken to Aspen Valley Hospital where he was pronounced dead at 5:50 p.m.[6]

He was interred on January 3, 1998, in the family plot at Holyhood Cemetery in Brookline, Massachusetts.[7]

See also


  1. ^ "Kennedys had pinned high hopes on Michael". Retrieved 2017-07-17. 
  2. ^ a b Gibbs, Nancy; McCarthy, Terry; Faltermayer, Charlotte; Witkowski, Tom (January 12, 1998). "The Kennedy Family: Tragedy Strikes Again". Time. p. 2. Archived from the original on January 19, 2011. Retrieved August 30, 2009. 
  3. ^ "Editorial & News Images: News Photography, Pictures, Awards, Events, Sports, Celebrity Photos - Getty Images". 
  4. ^ a b c Gibbs, Nancy; McCarthy, Terry; Faltermayer, Charlotte; Witkowski, Tom (January 12, 1998). "The Kennedy Family: Tragedy Strikes Again". Time. p. 3. Archived from the original on April 23, 2008. Retrieved August 30, 2009. 
  5. ^ Time - "Letters: Feb. 2, 1998", 1998-02-02, accessed 2009-10-27.
  6. ^ "CNN - Coroner: Kennedy death accidental - January 1, 1998". 
  7. ^ "CNN - Michael Kennedy laid to rest - January 3, 1998". 

External links

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