Keller @ Large: Is There Division In The Kennedy Family?

BOSTON (CBS) – They were all smiles back in April at the groundbreaking for the Kennedy Institute. But behind the scenes, there’s trouble in Camelot.

Just the other day, Joe Kennedy lashed out publicly at the Kennedy Library for inadequately honoring the life of his late father, Robert Kennedy.

And now, there are reports of friction between Ted’s widow Vicki and other family members over future use of the Hyannisport home they shared.

WBZ’s Jon Keller is at large:

Peter Canellos of the Boston Globe, and editor of a popular biography of Ted Kennedy, says his death nearly two years ago has taken a toll on family unity.

Peter says, “In the wake of Sen. Kennedy’s death, some of the divisions among Kennedy family members have come out into the open in a way that they wouldn’t have if he was still alive.”

“He was this great patriarchal unifying figure, and when there were disputes within the family, he obviously would settle them,” says Canellos. “Now, there is a feeling that each branch of the family is a little bit on its own.”

When Ted Kennedy was alive, he would have joint meetings, reunions periodically during the year for his nieces and nephews, for their children, for the grandchildren’s generation, to give them a sense of what it means to be a Kennedy.

More from Jon Keller
  • mikey

    There’s division in every family but unfortunately for the Kennedy family their lives continue to play out in public view.

  • tsal

    Mikey your comment is so true. There is not a family that does not have its share of problems. I don’t understand the interest in problems faced by other families – or others in general. How sad for those who have nothing happier to focus on.

  • roudydowdy

    It seems like congress is lost without the old lion too.

  • Willow

    With great wealth and notoriety comes great responsibility and much worry. These are not ordinary people whose lives are being played out in the public. Much of the media circus is what made them into the “royalty” Americans were familiar with.

    • mikey

      I wouldn’t equate the death of Joseph Patrick “Joe” Kennedy, Jr., the assassinations of his two brothers John Fitzgerald “Jack” Kennedy and Robert Francis “Bobby” Kennedy to “royalism.” Tragic and untimely deaths all while serving this country.

      • roudydowdy

        Live by the sword, die by the sword. John and his older brother Joe Kennedy carried the sword and the torch for America and they sacrificed their lives.

      • Willow

        I agree, and I used the word “royalty” because the Kennedy family to most Americans were as a royal family. You either loved them, or didn’t. My point was that you cannot live your entire lifetime, and generations after you with a famous name like Kennedy without it being big news. I certainly agree that this family has suffered immense tragedy, and admire their strength to endure.

  • JohnC

    Perhaps I am misinformed, but I thought that the John Fitzgerald Library was a presidential library in honor of JFK. Joe Kennedy is a great guy, but the Kennedy library is not about RFK or EMK.

    • Tsal

      JohnC. Glad you made that point. It was my first thought and then I figured I was wrong.

  • The Owl

    Large, extended families often often end up having to slice the pie so thinly that some fee that they are not getting a fair or reasonable share. It is a lot easier for 3 or 4 diverse interests to come to agreement than it is for 20 or 25, particularly when it comes to prime real estate and money.

    This sort of tension is also fairly common when parents and/or grandparents try to control the descendents and beneficiaries with restrictive covenants in wills and trusts.

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