Michael LeMoyne Kennedy

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Michael LeMoyne Kennedy
Michael LeMoyne Kennedy, 1987.jpg
Kennedy in 1987
Born (1958-02-27)February 27, 1958
Washington, D.C., U.S.
Died December 31, 1997(1997-12-31) (aged 39)
Aspen, Colorado, U.S.
Cause of death Skiing accident
Resting place Holyhood Cemetery, Brookline, Massachusetts
Alma mater Harvard University (B.A.)
University of Virginia (J.D.)
Political party Democratic
Victoria Denise Gifford
(m. 1981)
Children 3
Parent(s) Robert F. Kennedy
Ethel Kennedy
Family Kennedy

Michael LeMoyne Kennedy (February 27, 1958 – December 31, 1997) was the sixth of eleven children of Robert F. Kennedy and Ethel Skakel.

Early life[edit]

Kennedy was born in Washington, D.C. and named for a long-standing family friend, Irish priest Michael Kennedy of Dungarvan in County Waterford, and Kirk LeMoyne Billings, better known as "Lem", the college roommate of his uncle, President of the United States John F. Kennedy, and a close Kennedy family friend.[1]

Michael was 5 years old when John F. Kennedy was assassinated and 10 years old when his father, presidential candidate, Robert F. Kennedy, was also assassinated.

Education and career[edit]

He graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from Harvard College in 1980, and subsequently earned his Juris Doctor from the University of Virginia School of Law in 1984. After receiving his law degree, Kennedy settled in Boston, Massachusetts and worked briefly for a private law firm.[2][3]

Kennedy was the head of his brother Joe's non-profit organization, Citizens Energy Corporation, which provides heating oil and services to elderly and poor households in Massachusetts and other cold weather states.

Kennedy co-chaired the Walden Woods Project, a non-profit organization to preserve Walden Pond in Concord, Massachusetts. In 1994, he co-founded Stop Handgun Violence, a group that raises public awareness about handguns.[4] That same year, he helped organize his uncle Ted Kennedy's re-election campaign for the U.S. Senate against Mitt Romney.

Personal life[edit]

Kennedy married Victoria Denise Gifford, daughter of former pro-football player and sportscaster Frank Gifford[5] and Maxine Avis Ewart, on March 14, 1981, in New York City.[6]

They had one son, Michael LeMoyne Kennedy Jr. (born January 9, 1983), and two daughters, Kyle Francis Kennedy (born July 6, 1984), and Rory Gifford Kennedy (born November 14, 1987). The family resided in Cohasset, Massachusetts, until his death in December 1997. His son Michael Jr. and his wife, Mary Campbell, had one son, Michael LeMoyne Kennedy III in 2014 and a daughter, Quinn Victoria Ethel Kennedy in 2016.Kyle and her husband Liam Kerr had sons Conor Nash Kerr (2014) and Declan Francis Kerr (2016). A daughter, Conor's twin sister, Josephine Ethel Kerr, died in infancy in 2014.

In 1997 the news broke that Michael Sr. was having an affair with the family's former babysitter. Allegations were reported that the affair had begun three years before, when the babysitter was 14 years old. Kennedy took and passed three polygraph tests claiming he had not had sex with the Cohasset teen until she was 16, the legal age of consent in Massachusetts at the time. Kennedy was placed under investigation for statutory rape.[7] The babysitter, however, did not cooperate with prosecutors.[citation needed] Shortly after the scandal began, Kennedy and his wife separated.[7] After the affair, he checked himself into a Maryland rehab center for alcoholics.[7]


Last picture of Michael Kennedy, taken the day that he died, December 31, 1997.

Kennedy died on December 31, 1997, in a skiing accident in Aspen Mountain, Colorado. He was playing football while on skis with several other members of the Kennedy family when at approximately 4:15 p.m. he hit a tree. Kennedy was not wearing a helmet or other safety equipment. Some have stated that the family had been previously warned by the ski patrol to cease the activity.[5] Others have stated that the ski patrol issued no such warnings.[8] Following the accident Kennedy was taken to Aspen Valley Hospital where he was pronounced dead at 5:50 p.m.[9]

He was interred on January 3, 1998, in the family plot at Holyhood Cemetery in Brookline, Massachusetts.[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Michael Kennedy laid to rest". CNN. 3 January 1998. 
  2. ^ "Son of Robert Kennedy Dies In Colorado Skiing Accident". Retrieved 2017-11-06. 
  4. ^ "Kennedys had pinned high hopes on Michael". Retrieved 2017-07-17. 
  5. ^ a b Gibbs, Nancy; McCarthy, Terry; Faltermayer, Charlotte; Witkowski, Tom (January 12, 1998). "The Kennedy Family: Tragedy Strikes Again". Time. p. 2. Archived from the original on January 19, 2011. Retrieved August 30, 2009. 
  6. ^ "Editorial & News Images: News Photography, Pictures, Awards, Events, Sports, Celebrity Photos - Getty Images". 
  7. ^ a b c Gibbs, Nancy; McCarthy, Terry; Faltermayer, Charlotte; Witkowski, Tom (January 12, 1998). "The Kennedy Family: Tragedy Strikes Again". Time. p. 3. Archived from the original on April 23, 2008. Retrieved August 30, 2009. 
  8. ^ Time - "Letters: Feb. 2, 1998", 1998-02-02, accessed 2009-10-27.
  9. ^ "CNN - Coroner: Kennedy death accidental - January 1, 1998". 
  10. ^ "CNN - Michael Kennedy laid to rest - January 3, 1998". 

External links[edit]