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Monday, June 14, 1999

19990614 The Kennedys by Hugh Sidey Time magazine

June 14, 1999

Hugh Sidey, who “has reported on and written about nine U.S. presidencies for TIME” has penned a short and concise piece of why the Kennedy family continues to be relevant in American history – no matter what your political persuasion.

Time magazine Monday, June 14, 1999 Heroes and Icons by Hugh Sidey Monday, June 14, 1999

With its mix of political triumph and human tragedy, their saga enthralled the nation and made them America's most powerful family

The Kennedy clan, the pre-eminent American political family of our time, seems to be cast in the stars, the distant stuff of legend.

But look down. They march ever more numerous among us. There's a spot on Washington's infamous Beltway where an unsuspecting family might find their children in school with a couple of Joseph and Rose Kennedy's 54 great-grandchildren.

That same family could be the neighbors of Eunice Kennedy Shriver, one of the Kennedy clan's five surviving originals (there were nine). It could be served in the Maryland assembly by delegate Mark Shriver, nephew of the martyred John Kennedy (and one of 29 grandchildren of Joe and Rose). And it could fall under the growing political hand of Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, oldest child of the murdered Robert Kennedy, now Maryland's lieutenant governor and touted for higher office.

Members of such a Beltway family would have as good a chance as not to pass Ethel Kennedy, Bobby's widow and still the exuberant duchess of Hickory Hill, while driving to work along the Potomac River parkways.

[…]

The Kennedy clan is embedded in American political culture of the past half-century like no other family. They arrived at that power base through cold calculation and the blunt instrument of their immense wealth but also because of honorable service to the nation, their reckless exuberance and glamour--and family tragedy beyond measure.

[…]

Read the entire article here: The Kennedys

Related:

Dubious Influences: Century's Villains and Antiheroes

Five Captivating Romances: When Love Was the Adventure

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Label: President John F. Kennedy – see also Kennedy Family