Saturday, July 16, 2016


JFK+50:  Volume 6, No. 2011


Martha's Vineyard (JFK+50) What was said about President John F. Kennedy can also be said about his son John F. Kennedy, Jr., "He had every gift but length of years."  17 years ago today, July 16, 1999, 38 year old JFK Jr. was killed in a plane crash along with his wife Carolyn Bessette Kennedy**, and sister-in-law, Lauren Bessette.

JFK Jr. was at the controls of his Piper Saratoga II when it went down off the coast of Martha's Vineyard.  NTSB  investigation found the most likely cause of the crash was pilot "spacial disorientation" along with the haze and darkness of the night.

Wreckage of the aircraft was found on the afternoon of July 21, 1999.  The remains  were cremated and the ashes scattered from the deck of the USS Briscoe off the coast of Martha's Vineyard.

The threesome had been flying from New York City to attend the wedding of John's cousin, Rory, the youngest of Bob and Ethel Kennedy's children.

According to Rosemarie Terenzio, John's executive assistant, Carolyn had initially decided not to attend the wedding with her husband, but after talking with Ms. Terenzio, changed her mind.

Ms. Terenzio concluded her book Fairy Tale Interrupted with these words...

"I no longer dwell on what might have been.  It's enough of a struggle finding life at the end of the tunnel and knowing that eventually you'll come out on the other side.  You can't mourn the dead forever.  Don't glamorize them or demonize them....As John used to say, life is for the living."


"Fairy Tale Interrupted:  A Memoir of Life, Love and Loss, by Rosemarie  Torenzio, Gallery Books, 2012.

"The Bessettes' Double Disaster," by Ann Gerhart and Robin Givhan, Washington Post, July 19, 1999,

*John F. Kennedy, Jr. (1960-1999) was born at Georgetown University Hospital.  He was called "John John" growing up in the White House. 
JFK Jr. graduated from Brown University in 1983 and earned his law degree from the New York School of Law.

**Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy (1966-1999) was born in White Plains, NY and grew up in Greenwich, Connecticut.  She graduated from Boston University in 1988 and worked as a publicist for Calvin Klein.  

John F. Kennedy, Jr.
NASA/KSC Photo, 1998