Friday, April 12, 2013

K is for Kennedy Family Curse

Joseph Kennedy,
US Securities and Exchange
Commission, Public Domain,
Wikimedia Commons
Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr. and Rose Elizabeth Fitzgerald had nine children between 1915 and 1932. Today, only one of those children still lives, Jean Kennedy. All but one of her siblings died young, or fairly young, in terrible ways. One, Rosemary Kennedy, lived to 86. However, she had been incapacitated due to a failed lobotomy for mental illness in 1941, and kept in an institution for 63 years. The rest of her siblings died between the years of 1944 and 2009 from plane crashes, cancer, Addison's disease, and assassination.

Their children have met much the same type of fate, and the family has been riddled with scandal, from murder to affairs to car accidents that have taken others' lives or paralyzed them. Even worse, many who have married into the family have met untimely or tragic deaths. Suicide, plane crashes, and more. Now the great-grandchildren are suffering.

This is thought by some to be an actual curse. The Kennedy Family Curse.

JFK, By White House Press Office (WHPO) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Mental illness, cocaine overdose, bone cancer, skiing accident, miscarriages, suicides, premature babies, car accidents, airplane accidents...murder. All of this wrapped into two generations of the same family. Anyone who associates with them is a possible victim of the curse, and the tragedy that circles them.

There is no record of an actual curse being leveled at them. However, they've found much success, both in politics and finances. Instead of a curse, could it simply be payback for a bargain forged to insure said success? Did someone pay with blood?

You can find a timeline here.

Was the curse invented by the media? Is it a real curse? Have they seen more than their share of tragedy, or can it simply be traced to the size of the family? Is it possible that someone in the Kennedy clan traded lives for financial and political success?

May you find your Muse.


  1. Maybe someone signed a deal with the devil?

  2. Don't know if it's an actual curse, but that family seems to have suffered from more than their fair share of tragedy

  3. That's horrible about Rosemary - I can't imagine allowing an operation like that on one of my relatives. I wonder what drove the family to agree to such a thing? Reminds me of that movie with Jessica Lang, Frances. Tragic and horrifying.

  4. I agree with MsHatch about Rosemary. And Alex might be onto something,

    Hugs and chocolate,

  5. Thank you, Shannon

    This is very interesting and I believe you may be correct. This may not necessarily be a curse in the sense as we know it today, and I agree with Alex about striking a deal with the devil.

    I don't believe the size of the family has anything to do with it. It will be interesting to find out a bit more about Joseph. Did he belong to any secret society/ies which dabbled in crossing lines? The devil gives nothing for nothing and very little for sixpence...

  6. Yes, I believe there is bad karma or possible curses. I've seen it with my own eyes.

  7. I don't believe in curses, it's all their own making, but it seems so very sad for one family to suffer so much and keep on suffering :(

  8. They are just in the limelight, and their lives have also been extremely successful for decades. At the end, if we were to trace any family who has been unusually successful, we'd find members who have been struck by great tragedies. Something about the law of averages, I think.

  9. I think every family has their share of curses, but we are not as notable. In every large family especially wealthy, so much attention is brought to bear upon them.

    In my family, my dad was one of twelve, has it's share. My mother's family between natural and adopted numbering fifty children, it's the same way.

  10. What Alex said. It wouldn't surprise me at all.

  11. I don't believe that curses exist, but certainly more information is needed to determine whether the Kennedy family has suffered more tragedies than average. That timeline is definitely a long list of sucky events.

  12. This was very interesting. I know about some of the mishaps, but not all.
    I never understood why so many are fans of JFK. I don't think he was an especially good president and his morals definitely left something to be desired. Yet people continue to love and mourn him. Hmm...

  13. Ooh, an old fashioned deal with the devil! Sounds like a juicy book plot to me ;D

  14. It is a bittersweet combination of accomplishments and fates in that family.

  15. Robin at Your Daily Dose blogged about the JFK assassination yesterday.

  16. This reminds me of the whole illuminati concept.

    Chontali Kirk

  17. Curse, deal with the devil, media, it's all very sad what happened to them. I don't know how the family stood it all.

    Jenn @Scribbles From Jenn

  18. I don't believe in curses, but they make for great stories!

  19. Ah,yes, the speculated Kennedy curse,you just never know but it is awfully sad all the tragedies. Lucy from Lucy's Reality

  20. I don't believe it's an actual family curse. In any family that is so large and so notable,every little misfortune and mishap is attributed to the Kennedy Family curse. They certainly have had their share of tragedies and sorrows, but so have a lot of other 'unknown' families.
    Very interesting and thought provoking post!
    Kathy at Oak Lawn Images

  21. I never realized how many people suffered in that family! I think there's a little bit of everything going on. With the size of the family, more stuff is likely to happen. With such success, more stuff is likely to be noticed. With so many people and so much success, somebody is likely to get greedy and make bargains.

  22. I don't think it was an actual 'curse' because, if it was, Ted would have passed way earlier than he did, imo.

    Who knows, though?

    Left and Write

  23. By the way, there is a book I have, well, actually, there is a book that I'm reading that I think you need to read.

  24. I have a best friend who's family is cursed because his dad took a rock from a volcano. Since that day, nobody in the family dies, but weird and terrible stuff happens to anyone around them.

    I went on a hike with my friend, and he ducked through some trees. I followed, and a tree snapped, breaking my nose. I swear this stuff happens all the time.

    So I firmly believe the Kennedy curse, not as a mystical thing, but rather, some people just suffer bad luck and tragic death.

  25. It is pretty weird how that family seems to have been targeted by fate so much. When JFK Jr died, it was just unbelievable to me.

  26. You would have to be pretty brave to marry into this family. But at the rate things are going that may not be much of a concern.

    Chuck at Apocalypse Now

  27. I don't believe in curses. I do believe that families can pass down unhealthy living. There's also the problem of being in the public eye, and therefore hated by at least some portion of the population. And then there's the fact that, being in the public eye, they do a lot of traveling, bumping up the chances of dying on a plane.

    #atozchallenge, Kristen's blog:

  28. Like Alex, the thought of striking a deal with the devil seems intriguing. I do agree, though, with others claiming these are tragedies many families go through. The Kennedy family just happens to be prominent/known.

  29. It would be easy to believe in curses or fate, much of the Kennedy tragedy has to do with choices that they made. The times they lived in (WW2) and the aspect of being a large family for several generations. Joseph certainly made life easy for them with his wealth and hard on them with his expectations.
    Katie atBankerchick Scratchings

  30. Alex, that's what I'm sayin'! All this professional/political good luck, but so much tragedy personally.

    Maple, it seems like it, doesn't it?

    Marcy, that really horrified me, too, but it seems like it was more common back then. Heaven forbid we not rearrange someone's brain to solve their problems.

    Shelly, smart folks, Alex and Marcy!

    Fe, I'd like to know that, too. They seem so normal, and then all the descendants meet with such extremes.

    Desert, there certainly seems to be. I've known people to just have bad luck situation after bad luck situation. Not situations that bad decision making factored into, you know?

    Nandana, it does seem sad, either way, doesn't it?

    Rosaria, there are some big names we could probably track to see. There's one on the tip of my brain, but it isn't coming out. Probably will as soon as I hit "publish."

    J.L., thank you for a little perspective!

    Andrew, nor I.

    JM, I think it would be interesting to compare to similar family lines.

    Lexa, I imagine it was charisma, pure and simple. That's one thing many of our "successful" politicians share. And from a recent talk I attended, that's often something that indicates a sociopath. So take from that what you will!

    Kellie, gotta' love it! Who needs Faust?

    DL, the media certainly create their share of issues/stories..

    Jeff, definitely quite a combination!

  31. Carol, I missed that!

    Chontali, maybe they're related.

    Jenn, or still stands it. It seems to be ongoing.

    Charmaine, they do make for good stories, for sure. And it's fun to consider.

    Lucy, they are definitely sad.

    Kathy, true. Maybe I should compare them to my family line for the same time period. We've got our share of interesting and tragic stories, yet we don't call it a curse.

    Rachel, interesting, yes, a lot of people, and a lot can happen.

    Mark, maybe he made a deal!

    Andrew, what is it??

    Julie, ow! You should not do anything dangerous with him. Like skydiving. I don't suppose they've considered taking the rock BACK to the volcano?

    JoJo, that was shocking when it occurred.

    Chuck, true, if the deaths are exponential, eventually they'll run out of people to marry.

    Kristen, very good points. And I imagine you're right about the flights.

    Jak, valid point, for sure. Plenty of others suffer, but it isn't front page news.

    Katie, good point about Joseph. From what they've accomplished, it surely does seem as if they had a lot to prove.