Open main menu

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

Michael LeMoyne Kennedy
Michael LeMoyne Kennedy, 1987.jpg
Kennedy in 1987
Born(1958-02-27)February 27, 1958
DiedDecember 31, 1997(1997-12-31) (aged 39)
Cause of deathSkiing accident and blunt trauma
Resting placeHolyhood Cemetery, Brookline, Massachusetts
Alma materHarvard University (B.A.)
University of Virginia (J.D.)
Political partyDemocratic
Victoria Denise Gifford
(m. 1981)
Parent(s)Robert F. Kennedy
Ethel Kennedy

Early lifeEdit

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 careerEdit

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 worked briefly for a private law firm in Boston, Massachusetts.[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 Republican Mitt Romney.

Personal lifeEdit

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 were married on August 18, 2012, and 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. His youngest daughter, Rory, married David DiCamillo on September 30, 2016.[7] They welcomed their first child, Jack Kennedy DiCamillo, on September 22, 2018.[8]


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

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;[9] others have stated that the ski patrol issued no such warnings.[10] Following the accident, Kennedy was taken to Aspen Valley Hospital where he was pronounced dead at 5:50 p.m.[11]

He was interred on January 3, 1998 in the family plot at Holyhood Cemetery in Brookline, Massachusetts.[12]

See alsoEdit


  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. ^ 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.
  6. ^ "Editorial & News Images: News Photography, Pictures, Awards, Events, Sports, Celebrity Photos - Getty Images".
  7. ^ "A Kennedy's Nautical Wedding in Montauk". Retrieved 2018-10-12.
  8. ^ "Rory and Dave's Baby Registry". Retrieved 2018-10-12.
  9. ^ Gibbs, Nancy; McCarthy, Terry; Faltermayer, Charlotte; Witkowski, Tom (January 12, 1998). "The Kennedy Family: Tragedy Strikes Again". Time: 2. Retrieved August 30, 2009.
  10. ^ "Letters: Feb. 2, 1998". 2 February 1998. Retrieved 27 October 2009.
  11. ^ Franken, Bob (January 1, 1998). "Coroner: Kennedy death accidental". CNN. Time Warner Company. Retrieved 17 April 2019.
  12. ^ Jenkins, Brian; Tuchman, Gary; Reuters Limited (January 3, 1998). "Michael Kennedy laid to rest". CNN. Time Warner Company. Retrieved 17 April 2019.

External linksEdit