Jean Kennedy Smith, the last surviving sibling of US President John F Kennedy, died Wednesday aged 92, her daughter confirmed today. Smith – who also served as the US’ Ireland ambassador and is credited as helping to forge peace in the region, was the last surviving sibling of JFK.
Ms Smith was the second youngest of the nine Kennedy brothers and sisters, who included President John F Kennedy and Senator Robert F Kennedy, and the last-surviving child of Joseph P Kennedy and Rose Fitzgerald.
Her father had been the ambassador to Britain when she was a child.
And in 1993, when she was 63, she followed in his footsteps – becoming the first Kenendy woman of her generation to take on a serious political role.
Her first foray into the male-dominated world of international relations came after Bill Clinton named her as ambassador to Dublin.
The US envoy went on to play a key role in Northern Ireland peace process, having served as the US ambassador to Ireland throughout much of the 1990s.
she visited Ireland and Northern Ireland on numerous occasions during her time in the role, breaking social normal and political boundaries in her bid to aid the peace process.
She controversially met Sinn Féin’s Gerry Adams, despite this being banned in American policy at the time.
But the meeting helped her to pave the way for Adams to visit the US, where he later made his case for a ceasefire in the Troubles.
She also arranged for the meeting between Adams and President Bill Clinton at the White House in 1995, a move which also helped move the debate a step further along the timeline towards what became known as the Good Friday Agreement, which was signed in 1998.
Smith – who was born in Brookline, Massachusetts in 1928 – was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honour in the country, by former president Barack Obama in 2011 for her work in Ireland.
How did Jean Kennedy Smith die?
Smith died at her home in Manhattan.
Her cause of death is currently unknown. Express.co.uk will update this article when more information is available.
She is survived by two daughters, Kym and Amanda, two sons, Stephen Jr and William, and six grandchildren.
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