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Kennedy compound in Hyannis Port, Massachusetts

What Is the Kennedy Family's Net Worth?

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Nov. 23 2020, Published 12:16 p.m. ET

The Kennedy family has been a household name in the U.S. since the early 20th century. In the 1920s, family patriarch Joseph Patrick Kennedy Sr. started amassing great wealth through his liquor business and savvy stock market investments.  

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Joseph P. Kennedy Sr. was included on Fortune magazine’s first-ever “richest people in the U.S.” list in 1957 in the $200 million to $400 million range. The amount is the equivalent of billions of dollars in 2020. A century after the elder Kennedy lived and conducted business, about 30 descendants were worth a combined $1.2 billion as of 2015

kennedy family history
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Is the Kennedy family still alive?

Many descendants of Joseph P. Kennedy Sr. are alive today and continue to live off the money from trusts established long ago. Notable Kennedy family members living today include Maria Shriver, daughter of Eunice Kennedy Shriver, and Caroline Kennedy, the only surviving child of President John F. Kennedy 

Joe Kennedy III, the grandson of Robert F. Kennedy, is serving his fourth term in the Massachusetts House of Representatives. In the fall of 2020, he lost his bid to become a state senator to the incumbent Edward Markey.  

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Is the Kennedy family still wealthy?

Joseph P. Kennedy Sr. left about $400 million to his descendants upon his death in 1969. The amount would be worth about $2.67 billion today. 

Another notable financial event happened in 1998 when the family sold Merchandise Mart in Chicago for just over $300 million.  

When Ted Kennedy died in 2009, his most recent financial filings indicated that his net worth was somewhere between $45 million and $150 million. The Kennedy family wealth lives on through ongoing investments, largely in trusts, according to Forbes.  

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Is the Kennedy family cursed?

The Kennedy family has experienced an unusual number of early deaths and tragic losses, leading some, including the late Senator Ted Kennedy, to say that the family is cursed. The assassinations of both President John F. Kennedy and Senator Robert F. Kennedy are among the notable tragedies in the family.  

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President Kennedy and his wife Jackie lost an infant son. One of Robert F. Kennedy's sons died from a drug overdose and another died in a skiing accident. John F. Kennedy Jr. and his wife died in a small plane crash. Most recently, Saoirse Kennedy Hill, Robert F. Kennedy's granddaughter, died at the Hyannis Port compound in 2019.

What was the Kennedy family business?

Patrick J. Kennedy was a savvy businessman who became the country’s first bank president at age 25. He also made money from a liquor business that thrived post-Prohibition. The elder Kennedy managed to recognize problems in the stock market, which led him to sell most of his shares before the crash of 1929. He continued to build his wealth in the market. 

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Kennedy family wealth

With millions of dollars invested across multiple trusts, the descendants of Joseph P. Kennedy Sr. can live comfortably for many years to come. In addition to providing a living, the family's wealth has helped finance many Kennedy political campaigns.  

Kennedy family home

There's a six-acre waterfront property on Cape Cod, Mass. known as the “Kennedy compound.” Key moments in the family’s history have taken place at the compound. In 2012, the family donated the main house to the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate.

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