The Kennedys are more or less American royalty. Many members of the prominent family have been involved in politics: as ambassadors, state legislators and senators – and, of course, in one case as President. Until tragedy struck. The 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy gave the Kennedys a place in America’s consciousness that few, if any, had ever seen before. Now a grandson of JFK is coming into the public eye, though, and he looks and acts just like his famous ancestors.
John Kennedy Schlossberg shares his name with both his late grandfather and his late uncle, but he prefers to go by “Jack.” He’s the son of Caroline Bouvier Kennedy, the only living child of President Kennedy and his wife Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy. The so-called “Kennedy curse” has, you see, witnessed various members of his family pass away.
It’s true that a surprisingly large number of the Kennedy family have died in unusual circumstances. John F. Kennedy – better known as JFK – was assassinated by Lee Harvey Oswald, although many conspiracy theories surround his death. His brother, Senator Robert F. Kennedy, was then assassinated in 1968. And plane crashes and other accidents have claimed several other Kennedys over the years.
The death of JFK is, though, perhaps the most high-profile assassination in American history. While journeying in a motorcade through the streets of Dallas, he was, of course, shot and killed. Meanwhile, the President’s wife, Jackie Kennedy, was sitting right next to him. And she was present when Lyndon B. Johnson was sworn in as her husband’s successor later that day.
After the death of John F. Kennedy, Jackie vacated the White House, retreated from the public eye and concentrated on her children, Caroline and John Jr. The loss of her husband wasn’t even the only grief that she had experienced in her life, however. She had had a stillborn daughter and a son who died two days after his birth.
Meanwhile, despite their mother’s best efforts to protect them, Caroline and John Jr. lived out the rest of their childhood under the glaring eye of the media. The former had ambitions to become a photojournalist, but she gave them up, according to People magazine, when she realized that “she could never make her living observing other people because they were too busy watching her.”
Instead, then, Caroline became an attorney, married designer Edwin Schlossberg and had three children. These were Rose Kennedy Schlossberg, Tatiana Celia Kennedy Schlossberg and John “Jack” Bouvier Kennedy Schlossberg. However, just a few years after John’s birth in 1993, tragedy struck the Kennedy family yet again.
In 1999 John Kennedy Jr. lost his life in a plane crash. His wife and his sister-in-law, who were flying with him, also died. Naturally, the tragedy devastated the family, and in addition it sparked renewed media interest in the “Kennedy curse.” John Kennedy Jr.’s uncle, Senator Ted Kennedy, paid tribute to him at a public memorial service, saying, “Like his father, he had every gift but length of years.”
Now if there’s anything that these stories of a “curse” show, it’s that the life of a Kennedy is not necessarily an easy one. Not only do the family members have to live up to a legacy, but they’re also haunted by multiple ghosts. These were the circumstances into which Jack Schlossberg was born. So far, however, he has been leading a relatively normal life, although people who meet him are often pleased to note a family resemblance.
Unlike his mother, Schlossberg grew up largely away from the public eye and the glare of the camera flash. Only when he was an adult, in fact, did the media really start to take an interest in him – and they observed how very much he looks like his uncle, John Kennedy Jr. For example, Schlossberg boasts the same thick, brown hair and friendly facial features that his namesake once had.
Revealingly, meanwhile, People magazine interviewed an anonymous friend of Schlossberg’s in 2015. “Jack is very much interested in John,” the pal said. “He has an ease and a sense of humor. And he loves being compared to him. John was a rare kind of celebrity who grew up with being famous and had fun with it and didn’t let it take over his life.”
“He’s not walking around with a big sign over his head,” the source continued. “He’s not spending a lot of time thinking about his family’s legacy. It’s something he’s proud of, but it doesn’t define him.” And Schlossberg does indeed seem to be forging his own particular path in life. His Instagram, for instance, gives an insight into the sort of fun-loving person he is.
Schlossberg’s social media account is full of memes, jokes, shots of the great outdoors – and the occasional picture of him with no shirt on. Needless to say, the latter are extremely popular, and people often comment on how he has inherited his family’s good looks. There are also several photos from Schlossberg’s early childhood, providing fans with a glimpse into what it was like growing up as a Kennedy.
But Schlossberg is, of course, more than just his Instagram. He attended the prestigious Yale University and graduated in 2015. The bright young Kennedy earned his degree in history, specializing in Japanese history – and his mother was in fact the U.S. ambassador to Japan during the period from 2013 to 2017. Unsurprisingly, he also speaks Japanese.
Yet Schlossberg has other abilities and hobbies, too. For example, he’s written for publications such as The Washington Post, Time and his university’s The Yale Herald. And in these articles, he has laid out his political views, which are similar to those once held by his famous grandfather. He participates in triathlons as well, continuing the Kennedy family’s love of sports.
Schlossberg also volunteers as an EMT – something he trained to do while at Yale. “Jack sees this training as a way to give back to the New Haven community that he’s living in,” a friend of his told the New York Post in 2013. “Jack’s very aware of all the privileges and opportunities that come with his family, so his EMT training has a lot to do with the community-service aspect.”
In almost every profile written about the rising young star, there’s one unspoken question, though: could he himself run for President one day? Interestingly, then, in 2012, at the Democratic National Convention, CNN political correspondent Candy Crowley caught up with Schlossberg and asked him if he would consider a career in politics. He gave a careful answer.
“Politics definitely interests me,” he told her. “I’m most interested in public service. That’s something that I get from being part of my family, which is such an honor.” And then his mother, who of course has plenty of experience in politics herself, joined in, too. “Jack’s great,” she said. “I know whatever he does, he’ll do it with all his heart. So whatever that is, I’m fully behind it.”
Then after the question was put to him again in 2017, when appearing with his mother on the Today show, he gave a very similar answer. “I’m inspired by my family’s legacy of public service,” he said. “It’s something I’m very proud of. But I’m still trying to make my own way and figure things out. So stay tuned – I don’t know what I’m going to do.”
Next, Schlossberg will be studying at Harvard Law School, the institution from which his grandfather graduated in 1940. And after that, the sky would seem to be the limit. His mother has already made it clear that she’ll support him in anything he does, though. So despite the infamous “Kennedy curse,” there’s always a chance that in the future there’ll be another member of the clan in the White House.