World-famous former president John. F Kennedy’s very last surviving sibling has died. Jean Kennedy Smith passed at the ripe old age of 92.
Reports indicate that she was at home when her time in this world came to an end. The family still needs to announce an official cause of death.
Many are saddened by the news because Jean was more than a diplomat, she was also an activist and humanitarian.
She had a role to play in the peace talks that took place in Northern Ireland. This came after she became ambassador to the country in 1993.
Jean was a writer as well and wrote a memoir about life with the Kennedy’s. The book, titled ‘The Nine of Us: Growing Up Kennedy, shared many details from her childhood.
She also revealed that it is difficult to completely understand that she grew up with siblings who would become so important.
To her, they were playmates and siblings to love.
She also wrote a book with George Plimpton in 1993, titled Chronicles of Courage: Very Special Artists. It features interviews with disabled artists.
A Quite Life
Unlike her siblings, Jean chose to live a quieter life. In 1956, she got married to Stephen Edward Smith and they were seemingly blissful. The pair welcomed two daughters and two sons into the world.
Jean spent five years as the ambassador to Ireland. She followed in the steps of her father who served as a UK ambassador.
In 1998, Jean received honorary Irish citizenship from Mary McAleese, the president of the country at the time.
A Touch Of Controversy
Jean got pulled into some controversy in 1994. She wanted the US to give Gerry Adams a visa to enter the country. Adams is a former leader of Sinn Féin and the way he led Ireland’s independence struggle was frowned upon.
Jean, however, believed that Adams had changed.
Jean received the Tipperary Peace Award After many years of service to Ireland.
Jean always supported her brothers when they entered the political world. She spent a lot of time campaigning for them.
When President Kennedy visited Ireland for the first time, she went along.
Dedication To Disabled People
Jean was the founder of Very Special Arts Program. The program aims to include disabled people in the arts. It enjoys international recognition.
The VSA was renamed in 2011. It is now the Department of VSA and Accessibility.
President Barack Obama honored Jean with the Presidential Medal of Freedom back in 2011. It is the highest honor that a civilian in the US can receive. This came after her work with disabled people and the VSA.