Edward Moore Kennedy was an American lawyer and politician who served as the United States Senator from Massachusetts from 1962 until he died in 2009. He was the second most senior member of the Senate when he died, and he was a member of the Democratic Party and the prominent political Kennedy family. But did you know that he had gone through severe trauma following his brothers’ assassinations?
Following the assassinations of his brothers, President John F. Kennedy and Senator Robert F. Kennedy, Senator Ted Kennedy spent the rest of his life fearing for his life and would jump at loud noises and dive for cover when he heard a car backfire.
Who is Ted Kennedy?
Edward Moore Kennedy was born on February 22, 1932, at St. Margaret’s Hospital in Boston’s Dorchester neighborhood. He was the youngest of nine children born to Joseph Patrick Kennedy and Rose Fitzgerald, both members of Boston’s prominent Irish American families. After their marriage, they became one of the wealthiest families in the country.
Joseph Jr., John, Rosemary, Kathleen, Eunice, Patricia, Robert, and Jean were his eight siblings. His older brother John requested that he be the baby’s godfather, which his parents granted, though they did not agree to his request to name the baby George Washington Kennedy. They named the child after their father’s assistant.
Ted was frequently uprooted as a child due to his family moving between Bronxville, New York, Hyannis Port, Massachusetts, Palm Beach, Florida, and the Court of St. James’s in London, England. Gibbs School in Kensington, London, was where he began his formal education. By the age of eleven, he had already attended ten schools, causing disruptions in his academic success.
He was an altar boy at St. Joseph’s Church when he received his First Communion from Pope Pius XII in the Vatican when he was seven years old. He attended the Fessenden School for sixth and seventh grades, where he was a mediocre student, and Cranwell Preparatory School for eighth grade, both in Massachusetts. He was the youngest child, and his parents loved him, but they also compared him negatively to his older brothers. (Source: Britannica)
Ted Kennedy’s Traumatic Experience
The FBI has released over 2,200 pages of documents in response to multiple FOIA requests, stating on its website that these threats originated from multiple sources, including individuals, anonymous persons, and members of radical groups such as the Ku Klux Klan, Minutemen organizations, and the National Socialist White People’s Party. Some threats were passed on to law enforcement agencies and Kennedy himself, but there is no evidence that any of them were anything more than threats.
The FBI did conduct at least one investigation, into allegations that Robert’s killer, Sirhan Sirhan, attempted to hire a fellow prisoner to end Edward’s life as well. The prisoner told the FBI that he was offered $1 million and a car but turned it down. After his brothers’ brutal murders, Kennedy said in his book True Compass that he was terrified by loud noises and would dive to the ground when a car backfired. (Source: The Guardian)