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As a tribute to Senator Kennedy's 47-year career, gifts of $47 and up recognize you as a Friend of the Institute.

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June 18, 2020

Statement from Victoria Reggie Kennedy on the Passing of Ambassador Jean Kennedy Smith

From left to right: Congressman Patrick Kennedy, Ambassador Jean Kennedy Smith, and Senator Edward M. Kennedy at a St. Patrick’s Day event in 1995.

We lost my husband Ted’s beloved sister Jean last night, and the world seems less bright today. Ambassador Jean Kennedy Smith made a positive difference in the lives of people across the globe, from the creation of VSA, her signature program for artists with disabilities, to her bold and consequential work as ambassador to Ireland where she brought people together to help achieve peace in Northern Ireland. But for Teddy and me and all the family, Jean was our “Ambassadorable.”

Jean was funny, irreverent, and fiercely loyal. She also was a fun and engaging friend who loved to gather people together. But perhaps what defined her more than anything was the unqualified love she had for her children and grandchildren and the special and intensely close bond she shared with her brothers and sisters. I take solace in knowing that Jean is now once again united with all of her siblings and her husband Steve. I like to think of them singing and laughing and feeling the warm embrace of the deep love they have for each other.

Until we meet again, dear Jean, may God hold you in the palm of His hand.

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