David Kennedy

David Kennedy
David Kennedy
Born David Anthony Kennedy
June 15, 1955
Washington, D.C.
Died April 25, 1984(1984-04-25) (aged 28)
Palm Beach, Florida
Political party Democratic
Religion Roman Catholic
Parents Robert and Ethel Kennedy

David Anthony Kennedy (June 15, 1955 – April 25, 1984) was the fourth of eleven children of Robert F. Kennedy and Ethel Skakel Kennedy.[1][2][3]



On June 4, 1968, eleven days before his 13th birthday, Kennedy nearly drowned while he and his siblings were swimming in the Pacific Ocean near the Malibu, California beach house of a Kennedy family friend, Hollywood film director John Frankenheimer.[citation needed] Kennedy had been knocked over by a wave and was trapped on the bottom by the undertow. His father dove under the water and rescued him, scraping and bruising his own forehead in the process. Frankenheimer gave Senator Kennedy theatrical makeup to hide the bruise while appearing on television hours later.[citation needed] At just after Midnight on June 5, David watched on TV as his father claimed victory in the California presidential primary election; the 12-year-old then watched as the same broadcast reported his father's assassination moments later. The event left an emotional scar on David and he began recreational drug use shortly thereafter.[citation needed]

A 1973 Jeep accident, left Kennedy's then-girlfriend, Pamela Kelley, paralyzed. His oldest brother, Joseph Kennedy II had been driving the Jeep and was charged with reckless driving. Kennedy sustained a fractured vertebrae and became addicted to the painkillers he was given in the hospital.[citation needed] He began using heroin intravenously that autumn in his final year at Middlesex School in Concord, Massachusetts.[citation needed] Kennedy spent two years as a student at Harvard University, pursuing a major in American history before dropping out in 1976. He had ambitions of becoming a journalist and spent several months as an intern for a Tennessee newspaper in 1974. Some staff there were impressed with his aptitude.[4] In 1974 Kennedy and his siblings were the target of kidnap threats, and were given Secret Service protection.[5]

After dropping out of Harvard, Kennedy alternated his time between the Kennedy family home "Hickory Hill" in McLean, Virginia and New York until February 1979, when he moved to New York City full time. He was frequently seen in the Manhattan discos with a succession of attractive women. His most notable involvement was with British actress Rachel Ward, whom he met in one such establishment in 1979. In his memoir Symptoms of withdrawal: a memoir of snapshots and redemption, cousin Christopher Kennedy Lawford describes Kennedy as his best friend, and devotes much of chapter 10 to their relationship with one another and the extended Kennedy family.[6]

Health problems and death

Kennedy was diagnosed twice with bacterial endocarditis, an inflammation of the heart often associated with the use of intravenous drugs. As well as experiencing drug overdoses in 1976 and 1978, he also had some skirmishes with the law, including speeding offenses and a DUI. Kennedy spent 6 weeks in Sussex, England under the care of Dr. Margaret Patterson, an addiction specialist, during in the autumn of 1978.[citation needed] Kennedy later moved to Sacramento, California, while under the guidance of a drug counselor.[citation needed] In the early 1980s, Kennedy became clean and sober and found occasional work through family contacts.[citation needed] Considering a return to Harvard, he moved back east in the autumn of 1982, followed by a 6-month stint with the Boston based Atlantic Monthly magazine. Kennedy spent time in Spofford Hall, a rehab facility in New Hampshire in September 1983 in order to curb his drinking before starting school again. While he completed one semester, a return to drug use again forced him to leave.[citation needed] Kennedy remained in Boston with his girlfriend, fashion photographer Paula Sculley.

In the spring of 1984, Kennedy completed a month-long stay at St. Mary's Hospital and Rehabilitation Center in Minneapolis. He flew down to Palm Beach, Florida on April 19 for Easter, where several members of the Kennedy family had gathered. Kennedy checked into room 107 of the Brazilian Court hotel and spent the next few days partying. At the insistence of concerned family members, staff went to check on his welfare and found him dead on the floor of his suite from an overdose of cocaine, Demerol, and Mellaril on April 25.[1][7] Kennedy was interred in the family plot at Holyhood Cemetery in Brookline, Massachusetts, and was the first of four Kennedy grandchildren reaching adulthood to die. He was later followed in death by his younger brother Michael in 1997 and cousins John F. Kennedy, Jr. in 1999 and Kara Kennedy Allen in 2011.

See also


  1. ^ a b Lance Morrow; Hays Gorey; Joseph N. Boyce (1984-05-07). "The One Caught in the Undertow". Time magazine. Archived from the original on 2009-09-04. http://www.webcitation.org/query?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.time.com%2Ftime%2Fmagazine%2Farticle%2F0%2C9171%2C954290%2C00.html&date=2009-09-04. 
  2. ^ Bill Adler (1980-11-26). "David Kennedy couldn't shake guilt feelings". The Ledger. http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=ss4SAAAAIBAJ&sjid=JvsDAAAAIBAJ&pg=6802,3905069&dq=david-anthony-kennedy. Retrieved 2009-09-05. 
  3. ^ Vivian Marino (1984-05-16). "Two arrested in the death of David Kennedy". The Evening Independent. http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=-wEMAAAAIBAJ&sjid=XFkDAAAAIBAJ&pg=5071,4455&dq=david-anthony-kennedy. Retrieved 2009-09-05. 
  4. ^ Jonathan Slevin and Maureen Spagnolo (1990). Kennedys: The Next Generation. National Press. ISBN 0915765799. 
  5. ^ "Kennedy Children Given U.S. Guard: Move Came After Threats on Late Senator's Family". Los Angeles Times. 1974-09-27. Archived from the original on 2009-09-04. http://www.webcitation.org/query?url=http%3A%2F%2Fpqasb.pqarchiver.com%2Flatimes%2Faccess%2F644690852.html%3Fdids%3D644690852%3A644690852%26FMT%3DABS%26FMTS%3DABS%3AAI%26type%3Dhistoric%26date%3DSep%2B27%252C%2B1974%26author%3D%26pub%3DLos%2BAngeles%2BTimes%26desc%3DKennedy%2BChildren%2BGiven%2BU.S.%2BGuard%26pqatl%3Dgoogle&date=2009-09-04. 
  6. ^ Christopher Kennedy Lawford (2005-09-15). Symptoms of withdrawal: a memoir of snapshots and redemption. Smooch. ISBN 9780060732486. http://books.google.com/books?id=nqWRCgrII0wC&pg=PA86&dq=%22David+Anthony+Kennedy%22+-inpublisher:icon#v=onepage&q=%22David%20Anthony%20Kennedy%22%20-inpublisher%3Aicon&f=false. Retrieved 2009-09-05. 
  7. ^ Stuart, Reginald (May 17, 1984). "3 Drugs are Blamed in David Kennedy Case". New York Times. Archived from the original on 2009-09-04. http://www.webcitation.org/query?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.nytimes.com%2F1984%2F05%2F17%2Fus%2F3-drugs-are-blamed-in-david-kennedy-case.html&date=2009-09-04. Retrieved September 1, 2009. 

External links

  • David Kennedy website
  • David Kennedy at Find a Grave
  • Growing Up Kennedy: The Third Generation Comes of Age by Harrison Rainie and John Quinn, 1983
  • Life special issue, The Kennedys: The Third Generation, 1997.
  • RFK: A Candid Biography of Bobby Kennedy by C. David Heymann (Pages 516 - 521), 1998
  • Searching For The Impossible: The Quest To End All Addiction by Dr. Meg Patterson (pages 152-163), 2006.
  • The Kennedys: An American Drama by Peter Collier and David Horowitz, 1984.

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • David Kennedy — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda David Kennedy Información personal Nombre real David James Kennedy Nacimiento 8 de julio de 1976 33 años …   Wikipedia Español

  • David Kennedy — (2008) David James Kennedy (* 8. Juli 1976 in Seattle) ist ein US amerikanischer Gitarrist, Sänger und Songwriter. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Le …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • David Kennedy — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Kennedy. David Kennedy David Matthew Kennedy (né le 21 juillet 1905 et décédé le 1er mai 1996 à Salt …   Wikipédia en Français

  • David Kennedy (guitarist) — David James Kennedy David Kennedy on tour with Angels Airwaves Background information Birth name David James Kennedy Born …   Wikipedia

  • David Kennedy (disambiguation) — David Kennedy may refer to: David Kennedy (1955–1984), American writer and son of politician Robert Kennedy David Kennedy (Australian politician) (born 1940), politician and member of the Australian House of Representatives David Kennedy… …   Wikipedia

  • David Kennedy (hurler) — David Kennedy Personal information Irish name Daithí Ó Cinnéide Sport Hurling …   Wikipedia

  • David Kennedy (actor) — David Kennedy is a British actor. Career Kennedy appeared in many television dramas in the UK since 1983. He has appeared in Ashes to Ashes,[1] Trial Retribution,[2] Ultimate Force,[3] The Bill, London s Burning, Rose and Maloney, Waking the Dead …   Wikipedia

  • David Kennedy (New Zealand) — David Kennedy (27 April 1864 10 March 1936) was born at Lyttelton, New Zealand, the son of an Irish mother and a Scottish father who came to New Zealand from Melbourne in 1863. He became the first New Zealand born priest of the Society of Mary… …   Wikipedia

  • David Kennedy (Australian politician) — David Kennedy Member of the Australian Parliament for Bendigo In office 7 June 1969 – 2 December 1972 Preceded by Noel Beaton Succeeded by John Bourchier …   Wikipedia

  • David Kennedy (film producer) — David Kennedy is a film producer. His work includes Saving Milly and the upcoming Dark Shadows, based on the popular gothic soap opera created by Dan Curtis. Kennedy coincidentally ran Dan Curtis Productions until Curtis death in March 2006.… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.