- Category : 1928-births
- Type : GE
- Profile : 1/3 - Investigating / Martyr
- Definition : Triple Split
- Incarnation Cross : RAX Maya 1
American news figure and the wife of Robert Kennedy. She has been her family's beacon of faith, whose life work has been her children. A wonderful sense of humor sustains her and she likes to tease and be teased. Ethel does not forgive easily and people have said, "She is more Kennedy than the Kennedy's." Ethel and Bobby Kennedy were married on 6/17/1950 and moved to Hickory Hill Estate in McLean, VA. They had 11 children, the youngest of which was born after Bobby's assassination in 6/05/1968.
Born into a large Catholic family with more money than the Kennedy's, she spent her childhood in Greenwich, CT. She loved her parents who were both alcoholics. Ethel and her siblings grew up wild and she developed the habit of lashing out at anyone that was critical of her family and has remained fierce when provoked. Both of her parents and her brother were killed in separate plane crashes. Riding horses was one of her favorite sports along with swimming, golf and tennis.
During her freshman year, 1945-46, at Manhattanville College for women in New York she was formally introduced to Robert Kennedy by her classmate, his sister Jean. Bobby had dated Ethel's older sister Pat. Being a staunch Catholic, she was a virgin when they met. Bobby adored her as he was more thoughtful and much less outgoing, admiring her outrageous vivacity.
RFK was the disciplinarian and after his death the kids ran wild. They were all competitive and active, the only quiet times were at dinner when everyone got together and talked. She takes her widowhood very seriously and never remarried because no other man could be as good as Bobby. Through all of the problems over the years she has been the glue that holds the family together in every crisis. She won't allow herself to cry in public as she is very stoic. Her children see her as a 'doer' who is filled with love, supports causes and makes people feel special.
In a biography by Jerry Oppenheimer, "The Other Mrs. Kennedy" he relates stories of how she struck a cabbie she said overcharged her, spilled beer on Neil Diamond at a benefit and returned clothing she had worn to department stores. Through many family tragedies, she has relied on her religious faith. Crises have included not only the death of her Senator husband but drug rehab for her sons, the death of son David in 1984 due to a drug overdose in a Palm Beach, FL hotel, reckless driving of son Joe that left a girl paralyzed for life, and the death of son Michael in a skiing accident in January 1998. Her daughter, Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, was elected lieutenant governor of Virginia and all of her children now are committed to public service. In 1992 Ethel toured Eastern Europe and donated medical equipment and in 1997 toured Kenya to promote democratic reforms. During the visit of Chinese president Jiang Zemin she appeared at a mass rally across from the White House to protest human rights abuses in Tibet and China.
Ethel attends mass every day, prays often and has softened over time. She no longer plays tennis due to a hip replacement in 1995.
Their children are:
Kathleen Harrington, July 4, 1951 (Townsend, data given)
Joseph Patrich, September 24, 1952 (data given)
Robert Francis Jr., January 17, 1954, (environmental protester, jailed for his stance)
David Anthony, June 15, 1955 (died of drug OD 4/28/84)
Mary Courtney, September 9, 1956 (Hill, data given)
Michael Lemoyne, February 27, 1958 (died skiing 1997)
Mary Kerry, September 8, 1959 (Cuomo, data given)
Christopher George, July 4, 1963 (business exec)
Matthew Maxwell Taylor, January 11, 1965 (teacher at Boston College)
Douglas Harriman, March 24, 1967 (TV host on Fox)
Rory Elizabeth, December 12, 1968 (data given)
Bobby and Ethel married 6/17/1950, 11:30 AM, Greenwich, CT.