The Kennedy Curse -- UL?

“Everyone knows” that the Kennedy family was cursed long ago. But everyone seems to have a different story about who did the cursing and why.

Is this just another Urban Legend, or does anyone have any facts they’d like to share?

It was Marilyn Manson and Shania Twain. They are in cahoots to become the most famous couple in the history of the world ever. Ol’ JFK Jr was becoming a bit to popular for them, so Shania called in a favour from the devil (Marilyn doesn’t actually get involved in any of that stuff) and whammo, everything disappears. Just wait and see what they have in store for the millinium shift!!

The Kennedy clan doesnt need a curse. They always live on the edge and voila! they always have accidents.
I am probably in a cynical mood, but I think they get what they deserve.

It’s ironic that you bring this up, Keeves, because I recall hearing that it was a Rabbi (maybe Rav Aaron Kotler?) who cursed Papa Joe Kennedy, I think because he refused a request to help some Holocaust-endangered Jews immigrate to America.

Of course, I can’t speak for the truth of this tale, but I definitely heard something along those lines. Anyone else?

Chaim Mattis Keller

“Sherlock Holmes once said that once you have eliminated the
impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be
the answer. I, however, do not like to eliminate the impossible.
The impossible often has a kind of integrity to it that the merely improbable lacks.”
– Douglas Adams’s Dirk Gently, Holistic Detective

I agree with Veera. You do enough stupid things and it’s gonna catch up to ya. (Ok, this doesn’t apply to the previous generation, but more to this one.) If you’re fairly new to flying, aren’t certified to fly by instruments, and have an injured foot, you probably shouldn’t be flying your relatively new (to you) plane at night to an area that’s known to get foggy.

Think about this – if a family of 10 were to go on a van trip, and the van crashed, killing, say, 5 of them. Would we be hearing stories of how the family is cursed? No. But if the family is famous and they die off one at a time, then we hear about it.

The most ridiculous are the mentions of Jackie’s death. She was an older woman, fercryinoutloud. Older people die of diseases. It’s not part of any curse. Nor are any of the others.

Didja all know that every Kennedy born before 1890 has died, many because of so-called “natural” causes?

Is national politics really that dangerous? Two out of three brothers got assasinated; I think that’s far above the general rate for politicians.

And don’t forget about how many Kennedy’s died young, from non-stupid things, and/or were disabled in some way.

I heard the same version of the “curse” that cmkeller references. Don’t believe it, though. Frankly, I’m of David B’s mind about the whole thing. My newspaper had a timeline of their tragedies. The bad luck experienced by JFK’s generation is pretty explicable – two of the deaths (Joe, Jr. and Kathleen[?]) were connected with WWII, no big surprise – lots of families lost one or more siblings to the big one. As the mother of a disabled child, I rather resent having the retarded sister listed as a tragedy – but, hey, it’s hardly an unusual thing to have a disability of some kind crop up in a large family. As for JFK – being President is a kind of dangerous job, you know. JFK’s assasination was the 4th in less than a century. RFK’s death certainly seems like “bad luck”, but it was actually part of a rash of assasinations during a very turbulent time in our history. Or do Malcolm X and Martin Luther King get counted as Kennedy tragedies, too? And Ted’s bad luck? More like bad judgement (to be kind) or bad character. On to JFK Jr’s generation: Well, do you know how many of them there are? I don’t have the exact figure but there are a LOT! One of the cousins had cancer… okay, one of my husband’s (he is also from a large family) cousins had cancer… Is it a curse? Drug problems? Gee, if that’s evidence of a curse then just about every family in the country is cursed! The cousin who was boinking the babysitter? And the one accused of rape? Sounds like more of Ted’s bad judgement to me. Then one cousin dies in a skiing accident and one in an airplane accident. Hardly risk-free activities – especially Kennedy-style, a little casual about safety. I DO feel sorry for the Kennedy family. Especially Caroline, who is pretty damn young to be the only surviving member of her birth family. I also feel VERY sorry for the Bessette family who have lost 2 children at one time. But the whole thing is a damn shame, not indication of a curse.


Full of 'satiable curtiosity

Thanks, Jess, for a number of very good points, especially the high number of assasinations in the 1960’s, and the large size of JFK Jr’s generation.

Still, this UL has been around since before JFK Jr was born, and I’m just wondering if anyone can figure out when it started.

What’s a real tragedy was Joe Kennedy’s decision to lobotomize her, which changed her status from relatively-high-functioning-but-still-mentally-disabled to low-functioning-permanently-institutionalized. It was a tragedy both because he got what we now know as bad medical advice, (Sure she won’t be able to count, but she won’t be frustrated anymore because she can’t do higher math either) but also because he did factor in the family’s public image and based his decision in part (I said, in part) on not having to worry if some of her behavior would lessen the family luster. Which in retrospect, is pretty ironic.

Jess said:

A good point (among many in that message). After all, he wasn’t the one who died…

That curse was the cause of Mary Jo Kopechne’s panties being found in Teddy’s glove compartment, not the force of the car hitting the water as is popularly believed.

I’ve heard stories of old man Joe Sr. and some of his dealings in the 20’s & 30’s concerning the importation of Scotch whiskey.
He SUPPOSEDLY made Al Capone look like Pat Boone.

Sheesh!! If my paper ran a timeline of my family’s tragedies, they would need a whole 2 page spread to fit it all in!!

I don’t get it…Why are we supposed to feel so sorry for this poor, rich family? Don’t get me wrong, my heart goes out to the family of both the Kennedys and the Bassettes, however, their tragedies aren’t “more important” than any other American family’s, and the press needs to stop treating them that way.

“He SUPPOSEDLY made Al Capone look like Pat Boone.”

NOBODY “looks” like Pat Boone.

Work like you don’t need the money…
Love like you’ve never been hurt…
Dance like nobody’s watching! …Unknown


Of course there is a plausible explanation for everything that has happened to the Kennedy’s. But looking at your huge list of easliy-explained misfortunes, and adding them all up, shows a mugch larger than average number of “tragedies” striking this family. Re-read what you wrote and towards the end you’re like, “Wow, that gives me a headache!” Which is why people say they’re cursed - they have dealt with more BS than most families of that size… Throw in that the family is one of the most publicly known famiulies in the history of the country, and it’s really easy to see why people think being a Kennedy is a really bad thing!

Brian O’Neill
CMC International Records

ICQ 35294890
AIM Scrabble1
Yahoo Messenger Brian_ONeill

I dunno, Brian… I’m with HelloKitty – any large family could come up with a lengthy time-line of very similar tragedies. My husband, for instance, comes from a very large Wisconsin brood. Each of his parents was one of 7 siblings. My in-laws had 7 of their own, and one of Kevin’s aunts (his mom’s sister, married to his dad’s brother) also had 7 kids. Most of the other siblings in my in-laws generation had 4+ kids. My husband’s generation has also been fruitful (ranging from 2 to 6 kids) and now the 3rd generation is starting – several of my husband’s cousins have one or two grandchildren. Anyway – with the notable exception of the assasinations – my husband’s family has at least one parallel to the Kennedys in every particular. And, if you’re willing to accept simple murder in lieu of political assasination, we have one of those. Plus, we’ve got a couple of jail terms – I don’t think any of the Kennedys have actually done time, have they? Anyway, the biggest Kennedy curse isn’t their “time-line of tragedy,” it’s the fact that they are such a public family that all of their tragedies are played out in public. For that, I do pity them.


Full of 'satiable curtiosity

OK to start off, I will admit I’m biased. My mother was a JFK volunteer in 1960, and I still tear up whenever I hear Ted’s eulogy for Bobby. That said:

I am amazed at how the Kennedy haters have come out of the woodwork this weekend. On talk radio, here, on NPR. I freely admit that my generally low opinion of Nixon was not altered when he died.

When Reagan was shot, I didn’t hear people saying that he deserved it, or making jokes about it. When he finally goes I will have the class not to use the opportunity to write letters and call talk shows, telling people how bad he was for the country and what a poor example he set.

Yet this family, whatever you think of their politics, whatever bad choices a few of them have made, experienced a horrible tragedy this weekend. And here we are, talking about whether or not they deserved it! By the way, whatever risks might have been accepted by flying in those conditions, he was a licenced pilot – and one local official has said that the mist that night was “unexpected.” Not to mention the fact that driving is on the order of 500x as risky as flying – would he be accused of participating in risky behaviour if he had crashed while driving his family from New York to Massachusetts?

And it goes further – JFK and RFK brought it on themselves, by getting involved in national politics! Yeah, no one said that specifically, but Jess assembled a pretty good rationalization. So I guess Joseph and/or Kathleen are next, because this is a family that prides itself on public service and charity. Of all the rich people who involve themselves in politics, the Kennedys are the only ones I know of who have always been advocates for people less advantaged than themselves.

Of course, old Joe made his money bootlegging (worse than Capone? Is someone here going to accuse him of murder?). Since this is always brought up first by Kennedy-bashers I assume that you advocate – what? that they give the money back? Is Rockefeller’s money forever tainted? Is Getty’s?

And Teddy is guilty of manslaughter. It probably would have been pretty easy for him to leave politics after that, and would have saved him a lot of grief. But he felt that he had a significant contribution to make, and he has been one of the most effective senators for the past 30 years. I often wonder if his drinking problem was related to the fact that he watched his older brothers all die tragically, the last two shot down while trying to make the world a better place.

Yeah, they live a privledged life up there in Hyannis Port, in their compound. But at least they don’t lock the gates from the inside and demand tax breaks and the death penalty for homelessness. They come out and participate in society. So, even if you really hate them, could you allow some sort of mourning period before you start bashing them again?

Hey! I most certainly did NOT say the JFK and RFK JFK and RFK “brought [their assasinations] on themselves, by getting involved in national politics.” Nor do I think I implied that. I said that those assasinations were not proof of a curse. And I stand behind that statement.


Full of 'satiable curtiosity

Sheesh. Guess I should take the socks off my hands before I type! Please read the second sentence in the above post as: I most certainly did NOT say that JFK and RFK “brought [their assasinations] on themselves, by getting involved in national politics.”


Full of 'satiable curtiosity