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Caroline Kennedy
Born Caroline Bouvier Kennedy
November 27, 1957 (1957-11-27) (age 52)
New York, New York, U.S.
Alma mater Harvard University (A.B.)
Columbia Law School (J.D.)
Occupation Attorney
Political party Democratic
Religious beliefs Roman Catholic
Spouse(s) Edwin Arthur Schlossberg (m. 1986–present) «start: (1986)»"Marriage: Edwin Arthur Schlossberg to Caroline Kennedy" Location: (linkback:
Children Rose (born 1988)
Tatiana (born 1990)
John (born 1993)
Parents John F. Kennedy
Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis

Caroline Bouvier Kennedy[1][2] (born November 27, 1957)[3] is an American author and attorney. She is a member of the influential Kennedy family and the only surviving child of U.S. President John F. Kennedy and First Lady Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy.

At the time of her father's presidency she was a young child; after his assassination in 1963, her family settled in the Upper East Side of Manhattan, where she attended school. Kennedy graduated from Radcliffe College and worked at New York City's Metropolitan Museum of Art, where she met her future husband, exhibit designer Edwin Schlossberg. She went on to receive a law degree from Columbia Law School. Kennedy's professional life has spanned law and politics as well as education and charitable work. She has also acted as a spokesperson for her family's legacy and co-authored two books on civil liberties with Ellen Alderman.

In the 2008 presidential election, Kennedy endorsed Democratic candidate Barack Obama for President early in the primary race; she later stumped for him in Orlando, Indiana, and Ohio, served as co-chair of his Vice Presidential Search Committee, and addressed the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver.[4] After Obama's selection of then-Senator Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State, Kennedy expressed interest in being appointed to Clinton's vacant Senate seat from New York, but she later withdrew from consideration, citing "personal reasons."[5]


Early childhood

Caroline with her father aboard the "Honey Fitz", off Hyannis Port, Massachusetts in August 1963.

A year after her parents had a stillborn daughter, Kennedy was born in New York City, and is named after her maternal aunt Caroline Lee Bouvier Radziwill and a maternal great-grandmother. Her younger brother, John, Jr. was born three years later. A second brother, Patrick, died of a lung ailment two days after his birth in August 1963. Caroline and John, Jr. lived with their parents in the Washington, D.C. neighborhood of Georgetown until a few months after her third birthday, when her family moved into the White House after her father's inauguration as President of the United States in 1961. At the White House, she attended kindergarten in classes organized by her mother and was often photographed riding her pony Macaroni around the grounds of the White House. A photo of a young Caroline with Macaroni in a news article inspired singer-songwriter Neil Diamond to write his hit song "Sweet Caroline," a fact he revealed only when performing it for her 50th birthday in November 2007.[6] As a small child in the White House, she was the recipient of numerous gifts from dignitaries including a puppy from Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev and a Yucatan pony from Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson.[7]

Historians described Caroline's personality as a child as "a trifle remote and a bit shy at times" yet "remarkably unspoiled."[8] "She's too young to realize all these luxuries", Rose Kennedy said of her granddaughter. "She probably thinks it's natural for children to go off in their own airplanes. But she is with her cousins, and some of them dance and swim better than she. They do not allow her to take special precedence. Little children accept things." [9]

On the day of their father's assassination, nanny Maud Shaw took Caroline and John Jr. away from the White House to the home of their maternal grandmother, Janet Auchincloss, who insisted that Shaw be the one to tell Caroline about her father's assassination. That evening, the children were brought back to the White House, and with Caroline in bed, Shaw broke the news to her. However, the new president, Lyndon B. Johnson, had already written letters to Caroline and John Jr., telling them about the assassination and that they could "always be proud" of their father. Shaw subsequently found out that their mother had wanted to be the one to tell the children, which caused a rift between the nanny and Mrs. Kennedy.[10]

In December 1963, Jackie Kennedy and her children moved from the White House back to Georgetown. Their home soon became a popular tourist attraction in Washington and they moved to a penthouse apartment on Fifth Avenue on the Upper East Side of Manhattan in mid-1964.

Caroline Kennedy breaks a bottle of champagne against the hull of the US Navy aircraft carrier named after her father. Jacqueline Kennedy and John F. Kennedy, Jr. look on with smiles at the launch ceremonies for the USS John F. Kennedy (CV-67) in May 1967.

In May 1967, she and her mother christened the United States Navy aircraft carrier USS John F. Kennedy in a widely publicized ceremony in Newport News, Virginia.[11]

In 1975, she was visiting London to complete a nine-month art course at the Sotheby's auction house. On October 23, a car bomb, placed by the IRA under the car of her host, Conservative MP Hugh Fraser, exploded shortly before Kennedy and Fraser were due to leave for their daily drive to Sotheby's. Caroline was running late and had not yet left the house, but a passerby, oncologist Gordon Hamilton-Fairley, was killed.[12]

Education and personal life

Kennedy attended The Brearley School and Convent of the Sacred Heart in New York City and graduated from Concord Academy in Massachusetts in 1975.[13] She received her A.B. from Radcliffe College[14] at Harvard University in 1979. She earned a J.D. from Columbia Law School in 1988, graduating in the top ten percent of her class, several weeks before giving birth to her first child.[15]

During college, Kennedy "considered becoming a photojournalist (her mother's original career) but soon realized she could never make her living observing other people because they were too busy watching her."[16] She worked as a photographer's assistant at the 1976 Winter Olympics in Innsbruck, Austria.[16]

In 1977, she became a summer intern at the New York Daily News; Kennedy reportedly "sat on a bench alone for two hours the first day before other employees even said hello to her"; according to Richard Licata, a former News reporter, "Everyone was too scared."[16] Her work at the internship earned her $156 a week, wherein her responsibilities were "fetching coffee for harried editors and reporters, changing typewriter ribbons and delivering messages."[17]

Kennedy reviews her notes after interviewing mourners at Elvis Presley's funeral in August 1977.

In addition, she wrote for Rolling Stone about visiting Graceland following Elvis Presley's death that summer.[16]

After graduating from college, Kennedy began work as a research assistant in the film and television department of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York in 1980 and later became a "liaison officer between the museum staff and outside producers and directors shooting footage at the museum", helping coordinate the Sesame Street special Don't Eat the Pictures.[18]

While at her museum job, Kennedy met her future husband, exhibit designer Edwin Schlossberg.[14] Kennedy and Schlossberg were married on July 19, 1986[3] at Our Lady of Victory Church in Centerville, Massachusetts. Kennedy's matron of honor was her cousin Maria Shriver, and her paternal uncle, Senator Edward "Ted" Kennedy walked her down the aisle. Although she is often incorrectly referred to as "Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg", she did not change her name when she married.[1][2]

Kennedy and her family live on Park Avenue in Manhattan's Upper East Side. She and her husband have two daughters and one son: Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Schlossberg, born June 25, 1988 in New York City, is named after her maternal great-grandmother; Tatiana Celia Kennedy Schlossberg, born May 5, 1990 in New York City, is named after her father's former colleague, lithographer Tatiana Grossman,[19] and his grandmother; and John Bouvier "Jack" Kennedy Schlossberg, born January 19, 1993 in New York City, is named after his maternal great-grandfather.[20] She owns her mother's 375-acre (1.52 km2) estate known as Red Gate Farm in Aquinnah (formerly Gay Head) on the island of Martha's Vineyard. The New York Daily News estimated Kennedy's net worth in 2008 at over $100 million.[21]

Kennedy and her younger brother John, Jr. were raised in New York, somewhat apart from their Hyannisport cousins,[22] and were very close to one another, especially after their mother's death on May 19, 1994.[23] John, Jr. was killed in a plane crash along with his wife and sister-in-law on July 16, 1999, leaving Caroline as the sole survivor of the President's immediate family.

Public career

Kennedy is an attorney, writer, and editor and serves on the boards of numerous non-profit organizations.

From 2002 through 2004, Kennedy worked as director of the Office of Strategic Partnerships for the New York City Department of Education. The three-day-a-week job paid her a salary of $1 and had the goal of raising private money for the New York City public schools.[24] In that capacity, she helped raise more than $65 million for the city’s public schools.[3][25] She currently serves as one of two vice chairs of the board of directors of The Fund for Public Schools, a public-private partnership founded in 2002 to attract private funding for public schools in New York City.[26] She has also served on the board of trustees of Concord Academy, which she attended as a child.[27]

Kennedy and other members of her family created the Profile in Courage Award in 1989. The award is given to a public official or officials whose actions demonstrate politically courageous leadership in the spirit of John F. Kennedy's book, Profiles in Courage.[28] In addition, Kennedy is president of the Kennedy Library Foundation[3] and an adviser to the Harvard Institute of Politics, a living memorial to her father.

Kennedy is a member of the New York and Washington, D.C. bar associations. She is also a member of the boards of directors of the Commission on Presidential Debates and the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, and is an honorary chair of the American Ballet Theatre.[28]

Kennedy has represented her family at the funeral services of former presidents Ronald Reagan in 2004 and Gerald Ford in 2006, and at the funeral service of former First Lady Lady Bird Johnson in 2007. She also represented her family at the dedication of the William J. Clinton Presidential Center and Park in Little Rock, Arkansas in November 2004.

2008 presidential election

Kennedy on the presidential campaign trail.
Kennedy spoke during the first night of the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver, Colorado, on August 25, 2008, introducing her uncle, Senator Ted Kennedy.

On Sunday, January 27, 2008, Kennedy announced in a New York Times op-ed piece entitled, "A President Like My Father," that she would endorse Barack Obama in the 2008 U.S. presidential election.[29] Her concluding lines were: "I have never had a president who inspired me the way people tell me that my father inspired them. But for the first time, I believe I have found the man who could be that president—not just for me, but for a new generation of Americans." This was the first time she had endorsed a presidential candidate other than when she endorsed her uncle, Ted Kennedy, in 1980.[30][31]

Federal Election Commission records show that Kennedy contributed $2300 to the Hillary Rodham Clinton presidential campaign committee on June 29, 2007. She previously contributed a total of $5000 to Clinton's 2006 senatorial campaign. On September 18, 2007, she contributed $2300 to Barack Obama's presidential campaign committee.[32]

On June 4, 2008, Obama named Caroline Kennedy, along with Jim Johnson and Eric Holder, to co-chair his Vice Presidential Search Committee.[33 ] (Johnson withdrew one week later.) Filmmaker Michael Moore called on Kennedy to "Pull a Cheney",[34] and name herself as Obama's vice presidential running mate (Dick Cheney headed George W. Bush's vice presidential vetting committee in 2000—Cheney himself was chosen for the job [35]). On August 23, Obama announced that Senator Joe Biden of Delaware would be his running mate. Kennedy addressed the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver, introducing a tribute film about her uncle, Senator Ted Kennedy.[36]

U.S. Senate seat

See also: Possible appointment candidates for the New York Senate seat

In December 2008, Kennedy announced her interest in the United States Senate seat occupied by Hillary Clinton, who had been selected to become Secretary of State. This seat was to be filled for two years by appointment of New York Governor David Paterson.[37] A special election will be held in 2010 to fill the seat until the next regular election in 2012. This same seat was held by Kennedy's uncle Robert F. Kennedy from January 1965 until his assassination in June 1968, when he was a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination.[38] Kennedy's appointment was supported by Congresswoman Louise Slaughter,[39] State Assemblyman Vito Lopez,[40] New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg,[41] former New York City Mayor Ed Koch,[42] and the New York Post editorial page.[43]

She received criticism for not voting in a number of Democratic primaries and general elections since registering in 1988 in New York City[40] and for not providing details about her political views.[42] Kennedy declined to make disclosures of her financial dealings or other personal matters to the press, stating that she would not release the information publicly unless she is selected by Governor Paterson.[44] She did complete a confidential 28-page disclosure questionnaire required of hopefuls, reported to include extensive financial information.

In an interview with the Associated Press, Kennedy acknowledged that she would need to prove herself. "Going into politics is something people have asked me about forever", Kennedy said. "When this opportunity came along, which was sort of unexpected, I thought, 'Well, maybe now. How about now?' " "[I'll have to] work twice as hard as anybody else...I am an unconventional choice...We're starting to see there are many ways into public life and public service."[45] In late December 2008, Kennedy drew criticism from several media outlets for lacking clarity in interviews, and for using the phrase "you know" 168 times during a 30 minute interview with NY1.[46]

Shortly before midnight on January 22, 2009, Kennedy released a statement withdrawing from consideration for the seat, citing "personal reasons."[47] Several published reports regarding purported reasons for Kennedy's withdrawal turned out to be inaccurate and planted by aides to Gov. Paterson.[48][49] Kennedy has declined to expand upon the reasons that led to her decision to withdraw.[47][50] One day after Kennedy's withdrawal, Paterson announced his selection of Representative Kirsten Gillibrand to fill the Senate seat.[5]

Political views

Through a spokeswoman, Kennedy said that she supports legislation legalizing same-sex marriage, is pro-choice, is a strong supporter of gun control, opposes the death penalty,[51] and favors restoring the Federal Assault Weapons Ban, which expired in 2004.[52] She believes the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) should be looked at again, supports the federal bailout of American automakers, and says she "opposed the Iraq War from the beginning."[53]

Kennedy has stated that she believes that Jerusalem should be the undivided capital city of Israel.[54] She has also stated that "Israel's security decisions should be left to Israel."[55] With regard to the Israeli–Palestinian conflict, Kennedy has stated that she "supports a two-state peace solution for Israel, so long as there is a true partner for peace in the Palestinians, and so long as Israel's security is assured."[56]

Works published

Kennedy and Ellen Alderman have written two books together on civil liberties:

  • In Our Defense: The Bill of Rights In Action (1991)[57]
  • The Right to Privacy (1995)[57]

On her own, she has edited these New York Times best-selling volumes:

  • The Best-Loved Poems of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis (2001)[57]
  • Profiles in Courage for Our Time (2002)[57]
  • A Patriot’s Handbook (2003)[57]
  • A Family of Poems: My Favorite Poetry for Children (2005)[57]

She is also the author of A Family Christmas, a collection of poems, prose, and personal notes from her family history (2007, ISBN 9781401322274)


  1. ^ a b Sachs, Andrea (2002-05-13). "10 Questions for Caroline Kennedy". TIME.,9171,1002414,00.html. Retrieved 2008-12-16.  
  2. ^ a b "Transcript: Larry King Interview with Caroline Kennedy". Larry King Live. CNN. 2002-05-07. Retrieved 2008-12-16.  
  3. ^ a b c d "Board of Directors: Caroline Kennedy, President". John F. Kennedy Library Foundation.  
  4. ^ Gary Ginsberg on her campaigning for Obama; cited in MacFarquhar, Larissa (2009-04-18). "The Kennedy who couldn't". The Age: Good Weekend supplement (pp. 12-16).
  5. ^ a b "Caroline Kennedy withdraws Senate bid". MSNBC. 2009-01-22. Retrieved 2009-01-22.  
  6. ^ "Neil Diamond: Caroline Kennedy Inspired 'Sweet Caroline'". Fox News. 2007-11-20.,2933,312306,00.html. Retrieved 2008-12-19.  
  7. ^ "Caroline Kennedy Shares White House With a Menagerie" (paid archive). The New York Times. 1961-06-26. p. 33. Retrieved 2008-12-19.  
  8. ^ Heymann, p. 66.
  9. ^ ""People"". TIME. 1962-08-03.,9171,896441,00.html. Retrieved 2008-12-19.  
  10. ^ Heymann, pp.110-114.
  11. ^ "John F. Kennedy CVA-67". Retrieved 2008-12-19.  
  12. ^ Weinraub, Bernard (1975-10-24). "Bomb kills a doctor near London home of Caroline Kennedy; A Narrow Escape for Miss Kennedy" (paid archive). The New York Times. p. 1. Retrieved 2008-12-05.  
  13. ^ Heymann, p. 203.
  14. ^ a b "Caroline Bouvier Kennedy to wed Edwin Schlossberg". The New York Times. 1986-03-02. Retrieved 2007-06-21. "The engagement of Caroline Bouvier Kennedy and Edwin Arthur Schlossberg has been announced by her mother, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis of New York. A summer wedding is planned."  
  15. ^ Heymann, p. 299.
  16. ^ a b c d Mitchell, Greg (2008-12-13). "Caroline Kennedy's Journalism Days -- And Meeting Elvis". Editor and Publisher. Retrieved 2008-12-19.  
  17. ^ Andersen, p. 219.
  18. ^ Heymann, p. 264.
  19. ^ Heymann, p. 331.
  20. ^ Heymann, p. 358.
  21. ^ Saul, Michael (2008-12-24). "Caroline Kennedy: The $100M Woman". Daily News. Retrieved 24 December 2008.  
  22. ^ Anderson 2004, p.11.
  23. ^ Anderson 2004, p.4
  24. ^ Halbfinger, David W. (2008-12-15). "Résumé Long on Politics, but Short on Public Office". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-12-16.  
  25. ^ Herszenhorn, David M. (2004-08-20). "Caroline Kennedy Is Leaving Fund-Raising Job for Schools". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-12-16.  
  26. ^ "Board of Directors". Fund for Public Schools. Retrieved 2008-12-17.  
  27. ^ Heymann, p.203
  28. ^ a b "Profile in Courage Award". John F. Kennedy Library Foundation. Retrieved 2008-12-17.  
  29. ^ Kennedy, Caroline (2008-01-27). "A President Like My Father" (Op-Ed). The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-01-27.  
  30. ^ "Caroline Kennedy Endorses Obama; President Kennedy's Daughter Calls Illinois Senator 'A President Like My Father'". Associated Press. 2008-01-26. Retrieved 2008-12-17.  
  31. ^ Pickler, Nedra (2008-06-04). "Obama names a Kennedy to help pick veep". Associated Press. Retrieved 2008-12-06.  
  32. ^ "Federal Election Commission Finance Reports Transaction Query by Individual Contributor" (enter Kennedy Caroline for search). Federal Election Commission. Retrieved 2008-02-02.  
  33. ^ Murray, Mark (2008-06-04). "Obama Taps 3 to Lead Veep Committee". First Read (MSNBC). Retrieved 2008-12-17.  
  34. ^ Moore, Michael (2008-08-19). "'Caroline: Pull a Cheney!' An Open Letter to Caroline Kennedy (head of the Obama VP search team) from Michael Moore". Retrieved 2008-12-17.  
  35. ^ Bruni, Frank (2000-06-26). "THE 2000 CAMPAIGN: THE TEXAS GOVERNOR; Bush Names Cheney, Citing 'Integrity' and 'Experience'" (paid archive). The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-01-22.  
  36. ^ "Scorecard: First-Night Speeches, Caroline Kennedy". TIME.,28804,1836039_1836038_1836026,00.html. Retrieved 2008-12-19.  
  37. ^ Confessore, Nicholas (2008-12-15). "Caroline Kennedy to Seek Clinton’s Senate Seat". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-12-15.  
  38. ^ "U.S. Senators from New York". Retrieved 2008-12-19.  
  39. ^ Smith, Ben (2008-12-16). "Kennedy's first endorsement". Politico. Retrieved 2008-12-16.  
  40. ^ a b Einhorn, Erin; Saltonstall, David (2008-12-19). "Records show Caroline Kennedy failed to cast her vote many times since 1988". New York Daily News. Retrieved 2008-12-19.  
  41. ^ "Another Senator Kennedy?". Associated Press. New York: WABC-TV. 2008-12-05. Retrieved 2008-12-05.  
  42. ^ a b Salstonstall, David (2008-12-17). "We know Caroline Kennedy's name, but not her views on the issues". New York Daily News. Retrieved 2008-12-20.  
  43. ^ "Kennedy for the Senate". New York Post. 2008-12-16. Retrieved 2008-12-17.  
  44. ^ Halbfinger, David (2008-12-22). "Kennedy Declines to Make Financial Disclosure". The New York Times. Retrieved 23 December 2008.  
  45. ^ Neumeister, Larry (2008-12-26). "Kennedy says 9/11, Obama led her to public service". Associated Press.,4670,CarolineKennedy,00.html. Retrieved 26 December 2008.  
  46. ^ Not Ready for SNL: Caroline Kennedy's 168 'you knows.', Wall St. Journal, December 29, 2008
  47. ^ a b Confessore, Nicholas and Hakim, Danny (2009-01-22). "Kennedy Drops Bid for Senate Seat, Citing Personal Reasons". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-01-9.  
  48. ^ Hakim, Danny and Confessore, Nicholas (2009-02-03). "In Attack on Kennedy, Echo of a Spitzer Tactic". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-02-23.  
  49. ^ Hakim, Danny and Confessore, Nicholas (2009-02-20). "Paterson Had Staff Deny Kennedy Was Top Choice". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-02-23.  
  50. ^ Confessore, Nicholas (2009-05-18). "Kennedy Says Children Had No Role in Senate Decision". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-01-9.  
  51. ^ Katz, Celeste (December 21, 2008). "Senate-hopeful Caroline Kennedy talks gays, war, and education". New York Daily News. Retrieved December 25, 2009. "Friedman said Kennedy backs gun control and opposes the death penalty. She also supports rolling back the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, but not right now due to the "fragile" state of the economy."  
  52. ^ Confessore, Nicholas (2008-12-20). "Kennedy Offers Hints of a Platform, and a Few Surprises". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-12-20.  
  53. ^ Trager, Eric (2008-12-23). "Caroline Kennedy gives inadequate answers to policy questions". The New York Daily News. Retrieved 2008-12-25.  
  54. ^ Gedalyahu, Tzvi Ben (2008-12-20). "Caroline Kennedy: Jerusalem is Israel's Undivided Capital". Israel National News. Retrieved 2008-12-22.  
  55. ^ Ackerman makes Kennedy-Palin comparison, Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA), December 22, 2008.
  56. ^ Caroline Kennedy Is Decidedly Liberal by John Nichols, The Nation (reprinted by CBS News), December 22, 2008.
  57. ^ a b c d e f "Library of Congress: Kennedy, Caroline". Library of Congress.,3&Search%5FArg=Kennedy%2C%20Caroline&Search%5FCode=NAME%40&CNT=100&PID=CeyGgGOfsKcpvVf8-DBw_0dNj&HIST=0&SEQ=20081219174953&SID=1. Retrieved 2008-12-19.  


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