The Kennedy Children

Figure 1.--Here John is in the office of a White House staffer, James Ketchum. He writes, My office was right across from the Diplomatic Reception Room near the family entrance. Mrs. Kennedy woukd sometimes ask if John Jr. could visit with us for a while, and he'd stay for about 45 minutes or so. He was a great youngster."John wears suspender shorts and two-bar stap shoes, probably red. The photograph was taken only a few days before his father was shot.

The Kennedy's had four children. Only two survived birth, Caroline and John Jr. Senator Kennedy's election in 1960 meant that that the first young children of a president would be at the White House for the first time since Theodore Rossevelt's children at the beginning of the 20th century. Both were born before the family moved into the White House, but were very young as presidential children. They soon became the center of intense press coverage which Mrs. Kennedy did her best to limit. The Kennedy children delighted the nation as they covorted around the White House during the 3 years of the Kennedy administration. The children were always impeccibly dressed and usually beautifully behaved. The President and First Lady were both wonderful parents. And with all the press people and White House photographers around there is a wonderful record of their time in the White House. The country was horrified when the President was shot and were left with the haunting image of a young widow and her two adorable children who were too young to comprehend what had occurred to their fther who both adored.

Child (1956)

The Kennedy's first chid was stillborn.

Caroline (1957- )

Caroline was one of the most popular presidetial kids. Her explots on the White House grounds with dogs and other animals delighted the public although her mother strictly limited press access to her. Wondrful images show affectionatemoments with hr father. Her pony was named Macaroni. The public was deeply affected with images of her and her mother kissing her father;s casket in the Capitol Rotunda. Carlone studied fune arts at Radcliffe and earned a degree from Columbia Law School. She worked on film and television with the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art. Some of her worked has been broadcast on Public Television. She coauthored books on the Bill of Rights and the right to privacy with laws school classmate Ellen Alderman. She married artist and museum designher Edwin Schlossberg in 1986. They are bringing up three children in New York.

John Jr. (1960-99)

John was the first child born to a president elect. He was still an infant when the Kennedy's moved into the White House, but as a toddler devited the public. He soon becamr enamored of helicoptors, presumably because they often delivered his father to him on the White House grounds. John was always a free spirit. Once when his father was delivering a radio address, Jojn wandered into the room and started pulling on the wires. His father had to continue his address and encourage his son, "John now be a good boy" at the same time. John;s shaggy bangs and shortalls became extrenely popular. Some of the most touching photographs of presidential children are those of John and Caroline with their father The images of President Kennedy and his young son and John saluting the casket of his slain father on his third birthday are burned into the American psyche. John wanted to be an actor, but Jackie disuaded him, although he continued with amateur theatricals. He studied law and his efforts tompass the Bar were headline news in New York. He served as an assistant district attorney for a time. He founded George magazine which achieved critical success. He was America's most eligible bachelor when he married Carolyn Bessette in 1996. There were no children. John was active in social causes. He helped the Peace Corps in Guatemalam earthquake assistance and tutored underprivlidged children. John never lost his love affair with aviation began as a small boy. He was a pilot. He was klled in 1999 when his small plane crashed off Martha's Vinyard.

Patrick Bouvier (1963)

Patrick was born in 1963 about 3 months before his father's assasination. He lived only 3 days.


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Created: 6:10 AM 12/20/2011
Last updated: 6:10 AM 12/20/2011