In the United States, Joseph Patrick ‘’Joe’’ Kennedy started what would become one of the modern world’s most powerful dynasties. Even today the surname seems to go hand in hand with power and success. However, a shadow follows the Kennedy family wherever they go. 

The original Kennedy family consisted of the nine children of Joe and Rose Kennedy, descendants of Irish immigrants. Joe was a self-made man who earned a fortune on the stock market. After getting into politics himself, he prepared his offspring for political greatness, and succeeded in doing so. During the 1960s, three of his sons; John, Robert, and Ted held the most powerful political offices in the United States. The charm has not waned off, there has always been at least one Kennedy in the US senate since then. All the fame and power, however, is overshadow by a bizarre series of tragedies that have fallen upon the Kennedy’s .  So much bad luck is bestowed on the family  that some are convinced they are haunted by a curse.

Rosemary Kennedy was the oldest daughter of the Kennedy family. She differed from her brothers and sisters, and doctors soon found she had the mental age of an 8-year old. Her father felt unable to cope with her behavior and when Rosemary was 23, he decided a lobotomy should be performed on her. The operation failed and left Rosemary in a vegetative state for the rest of her life. Misfortune soon struck again. In 1944, the eldest son of the Kennedy’s, Joe jr. died when his fighter plane exploded over England. Only 4 years later, his 28-year old sister died in France when her plane crashed and killed her along with her lover.

Misfortune struck the powerful family again and again.

Joe jr. was expected to become president after the war. After his death this burden fell onto his brother; John F. Kennedy, who became president of the United States in 1961 while his brothers took other important political offices.But their fortune didn’t last, John was shot dead at a political rally in 1963. Robert F. Kennedy was the next in line to become president, and was well on his way in doing so when he also was shot and killed in 1968.

A large part of the American public were very supportive of the Kennedy’s, and thus, the youngest brother, Ted Kennedy had  a good chance of now becoming president himself. The ‘curse’ did not leave him alone. In 1969, Ted drove his car of a bridge an into the sea. He managed to escape from the wreck but left his female passenger to die without reporting the incident to the authorities. He subsequently lost all his public support and abandoned his campaign.

Despite all the success the Kennedy family had, they were haunted by a constant stream of tragic accidents. The later generations were also plagued by accidents, suicides, and drug addictions. Is this to blame on a curse? The media in the United States definitely supported this idea, but as many others have argued, the Kennedy’s are a large family under huge pressure to perform at the highest level. Although this is true, the history of the Kennedy’s is still quite alarming. So, in conclusion: If your last name is Kennedy, it’s not unwise to change it to something less haunted.

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