Jean Kennedy Smith

Born Feb 20, 1928

Jean Ann Kennedy Smith is an American diplomat and a former United States Ambassador to Ireland. She is the eighth of nine children born to Joseph Patrick Kennedy, Sr. and Rose Elizabeth Fitzgerald and is their last surviving child. She is the sister of the 35th U.S. President, John F. Kennedy, Senators Robert F. Kennedy and Edward M. Kennedy and Special Olympics founder Eunice Kennedy Shriver.… Read More

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1928 Birth Born on February 20, 1928.


1946 18 Years Old Smith was intricately involved with the political career of her older brother John, working on his 1946 Congressional campaign, his 1952 Senate campaign, and ultimately his presidential campaign in 1960. … Read More


1950 22 Years Old Jean Kennedy was born in Boston, Massachusetts, on her elder sister Kathleen's eighth birthday. She has been described as the shyest and most guarded of the Kennedy children. She attended Manhattanville College (at the time a Sacred Heart school, and still located in Purchase NY), where she met and befriended two future sisters-in-law: Ethel Skakel, who married her older brother Robert in 1950 and Joan Bennett who married her younger brother Ted in 1958.
1956 28 Years Old On May 19, 1956, she married Stephen Edward Smith in a small chapel of the Roman Catholic Saint Patrick's Cathedral in New York City. … Read More


1968 40 Years Old Kennedy Smith and her husband were present at The Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles on June 5, 1968, when Sirhan Sirhan shot and fatally wounded her brother Robert after he had won the Democratic 1968 California U.S. presidential primary. … Read More


1993 65 Years Old 1 More Event
Her book, Chronicles of Courage: Very Special Artists, co-written with George Plimpton, was published by Random House in April 1993.
As Ambassador to Ireland, Smith was instrumental to the Northern Ireland peace process as President Bill Clinton's representative in Dublin. She was heavily criticised after advocating for the U.S. government to grant a visa to Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams, although her family would claim this influenced the IRA declaring a ceasefire in 1994.
1995 - 1997 2 More Events
1998 70 Years Old 1 More Event
Irish President Mary McAleese conferred honorary Irish citizenship on Smith in 1998 in recognition of her service to the country.
2000 72 Years Old The U.S. Department of Justice issued a press release on September 22, 2000, announcing that she had paid US$5,000 in a civil settlement to resolve the allegations. … Read More
2009 81 Years Old 1 More Event
In 2009, Smith was honored with the Tipperary Peace Prize along with her brother Ted Kennedy for their support of the peace process in Northern Ireland.
Smith is the founder of Very Special Arts (VSA), an internationally recognized non-profit dedicated to creating a society where those with disabilities can engage with the arts. In 2011, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor, by President Barack Obama for her work with VSA and the disabled.
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