UNITED STATES—On Wednesday, June 17, Jean Kennedy Smith died in her New York apartment at the age of 92. Smith was the last surviving sibling of President John F. Kennedy. She was born in Boston on February 20, 1928. She was the eighth child of nine children to Rose and Joseph Kennedy.
She attended a Roman Catholic girls’ schools and graduated in 1948 from Manhattanville College of the Sacred Heart in New York.
The Kennedy family played a huge role in American history and politics. John F. Kennedy served as president from January 20, 1961 to November 22, 1963, until he was assassinated in Dallas. Robert F. Kennedy and Edward “Ted” Kennedy both served as U.S. senators. Robert also served as the Attorney General between 1961-1964; he was assassinated in June 1968.
Smith played a key role in the negotiations with Northern Ireland in the 1990s. She was appointed as the US ambassador to Ireland by President Bill Clinton and helped pave the way for peace after decades of sectarian violence in Northern Ireland.
In 1998, Smith stated: “The Irish people were willing to take me at face value, to give me the benefit of the doubt because I was a Kennedy. I was a cog, really, in the machine that was moving. I was fortunate to be here to perhaps add momentum to what was happening.”
She accompanied her brother, President John F. Kennedy to Ireland in June 1963, five months before his assassination.
In 1974, Smith founded Very Special Arts, a nonprofit dedicated to providing arts and education opportunities to those with disabilities. She was a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2011 for her work with the nonprofit.
Smith was married to the late Stephen E. Smith, a New York financier, and they had four children together: William Kennedy Smith, Kym Maria Smith, Stephen Edward Smith Jr., Amanda Mary Smith.
Her daughter Kym confirmed the death to the public.