BOSTON (CBS/AP) – Kara Kennedy, the only daughter of the late Senator Edward Kennedy, has died.

The 51-year-old Kennedy passed away after suffering a heart attack Friday evening following her daily workout at a Washington-area health club.

Kennedy was a member of the Sport & Health fitness center, though spokeswoman Nancy Terry declined to release further details about the incident, citing member privacy.

Her ex-husband, Michael Allen, said she frequently visited the club and went swimming every day if she could. He said details about her death would be released by The Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate. He said funeral arrangements are being made.

“Insofar as I’m concerned her legacy is one of courage and grit and determination in the face of her own illness and in the face of many family tragedies and limitless, absolutely limitless, devotion to our children,” he said.

WBZ-TV’s Paul Burton reports.

Her brother Patrick Kennedy told The Associated Press on Saturday that “she’s with dad.” Their father, Senator Ted. Kennedy died in 2009.

Kara was a lung cancer survivor and her cancer had been in remission since 2003.

Patrick Kennedy says he thinks his sister’s cancer treatment “took quite a toll on her and weakened her physically.” He says “her heart gave out.”

He also says his sister loved to exercise.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Kim Tunnicliffe reports

The Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate issued a statement Saturday on Kara’s death.

“Kara was a warm and caring person. Her children were the light and joy of her life,” it read. “Her magnificent strength in her successful battle with lung cancer was a quiet inspiration to all us and provided her family and fellow patients with hope. Kara was loved and cherished by the entire Kennedy family… We will all greatly miss Kara’s energy and commitment to the Institute and her generous spirit.”

In a statement, Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown offered his and his wife’s prayers and sympathies to the Kennedy family.

“Kara proudly carried on her family’s commitment to public service through her volunteer and charitable work, and was a devoted mother to her two children,” Brown’s statement read in part.

Kara Kennedy, a graduate of Tufts University, was the oldest of three children. She was born in 1960 as her father campaigned for his brother, John F. Kennedy, during the presidential primaries.

The late senator wrote in his 2009 memoir, “True Compass,” that “I had never seen a more beautiful baby, nor been happier in my life.”

She and her brother Edward Kennedy Jr. helped run their father’s U.S. Senate campaign in 1988.

She was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2002 and was given a grim prognosis by doctors, her father wrote.

In her father’s book, Edward Kennedy recalled her operation, along with her aggressive chemotherapy and radiation treatments.

“Kara responded to my exhortations to have faith in herself,” he wrote. “Today, nearly seven years later as I write this, Kara is a healthy, vibrant, active mother of two who is flourishing.”

In 2009, shortly before his death, Edward Kennedy was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Barack Obama. Kara Kennedy accepted the award on behalf of her father.

Kara was a filmmaker and television producer. She produced numerous videos and materials for Very Special Arts, an organization founded by her aunt Jean Kennedy Smith.

Kara also served on the National Advisory Board of the National Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and as a Director Emerita and National Trustee of the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation.

She also worked as a producer at Evening Magazine, a show produced at WBZ-TV between 1977 and 1990.

Kara leaves behind two teenage children, Grace and Max, along with her mother Joan; her brothers Ted, Jr. and Patrick; her step mother Victoria Reggie Kennedy; and her stepbrother and sister, Curran and Caroline Raclin.

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

Comments (102)
  1. alan says:

    I am NOT a religious man, but, Jesus, Lord, please stop this twisted madness of ill fate……… PLEASE!!!!

    1. dr procto says:

      I think two dates are created when someone is born – the date of birth and the date of death. The latter date is invisible but irrevocable, and can not be changed by Man.

    2. Madeline says:

      You are a twisted, messed up person, Pete.

    3. Dorkyman says:

      I wonder what sort of “God” you worship.

      I am no fan of the Kennedy clan, but your comments are hateful and far beyond any Christian faith I’ve known.

      I pray you are able to leave your personal demons behind.

    4. Espy says:

      You’re religious and you’ve asked God to erase this family? You’re about as religious as a rock. Asking God to erase someone is incredibly sick.

    5. teaisstronger says:


      Ted helped to kill unborn babies and nothing can wash that away.

      1. portena says:

        Ohhh…. stop that!

    6. MayfaireOquinn says:

      Matthew 7: 1 Judge not, that ye be not judged. 2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. 3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? 4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? 5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.

    7. lorne says:

      ‘Twisted madness. A bit strong don’t you think?
      A fact of life is… death.

    8. aggieranch says:

      neithie are they so don’t worry.

    9. Jean Ader says:

      It’s a sad fact that people die. There are a lot of Kennedy people, and of course it is news when they die. I’m sorry for the family, but it happens to all of us.

  2. Lisa Capachietti says:

    SHOCKED!!!!!! SO YOUNG!!!!! I don’t know how the Kennedy Family does it… much heartache, and they continue to keep the faith! God Bless the Kennedy Family. Please allow good things to happen, they’ve had way too much tragedy for 1 family!!!!!!!

    1. Fred says:

      Faith? What faith are you referring to?

      1. Madman says:

        She’s not with her dad because he’s in hell !!!!!!!!

    2. Itchy says:

      Just because they are in the public eye does not mean that they have anymore “tragedy” or success than any of us. God Bless us All

    3. sober 1 says:

      More like they’ve caused too much family for 1 family.

    4. Teddy says:

      I hope she’s not with her father. It can get very hot down there.

    5. Rick O'Shea says:

      Another good Kennedy.

    6. Carrieann says:

      Most of their “heartaches” have been caused by their own foolishness and folly!

    7. Miyegombo Bayartsogt says:

      If there was a god he wouldn’t allow that foul brood to live as long and as well as they did.

    8. Robert Vernon Bland says:

      You’re a sick puppy. You should go back and discover the true message of the bible. Particularly the part about not throwing stones unless you, yorself, are free from sin.

    9. lois says:

      Another Mossad hit think this has any coincidence with the release of the Jacky-o tapes and interview ?

    10. aggieranch says:

      This has to be sarcasm.

      1. tarzan and jane says:

        you have to be stupid

      2. Edward Boothe says:

        She lived a lot longer thane Mary Joe Kopechne. Maybe she didn’t ride with Teddy when he was drunk.

    11. phyllis westhoek says:

      Amen, God Bless the Kennedy Family. The tragedy that has come upon this family is more than any familiy has had to endure. Whether you agree with their politics or not, they deserve our honor and respect. This family has served our country above and beyond. God bless them all.

      1. fern says:

        They give more tragedy than they get.

    12. tarzan and jane says:

      Not to mention tax hiking middle class killers. Unless your in a union…..witch 85% are not.

    13. randolphnurina says:

      It’s all karma from Old Joe’s bootlegging, thuggery, probably murder, and worse.

    14. Kevin Stowell says:

      Yeah, after all they’ve been such major assets to humanity. Well, except for those millions of prenates who never got to draw breath, thanks to Teddy and his feticidal tendencies.

    15. Ari Golden says:

      even daily exercise can’t stop the grim reaper, a day is set and when it arrives your time is up.

  3. Italo says:

    There were a lot of things about the Kennedys, including Ted and his own family, that I disagreed with, and some things including Kennedy’s healthcare staunch support over the decades that I admired. That said, I am sorry to hear this because of all that his daughter accomplished yet went through, and that she has passed. Poking fun at and criticizing him notwithstanding, I feel bad for Patrick, his brother, and their loved ones at this time, too.

    1. smokehouse56 says:

      Would they reciprocate your sorrow?

  4. Corey O says:

    Politics aside, it’s a real shame – my father battled with cancer for 5 years before his death in 2007 at age 48…it’s a terrible thing in today’s world that people can die so young. RIP.

  5. evefromeden says:

    This is why we have to live every day as happy as we can. Who is to say how long a persons life should be? The old ones are lucky. Life is too short even if we live to 100. She doesnt have to go to God with Teds sins only her own. She had an opulent life. She was lucky.

  6. Grim says:

    This is all a result of the Bad Karma that Ted generated with his liquored up life! Won’t be long before whats left of the family is torn and battered as well, it
    might be in their best interest for those remaining to change their names, leave the families “dirty” money and disappear… nothing good ever happens to anyone related to or dealing with this family.
    Looking back the Kennedy forebearers might have rather been common people than have their family endure this evil.

  7. Jay Allen says:

    Very sad……Walter Mondale’s daughter (Eleanor) has also died, also aged 51. Too young……..

    1. The Clintidote says:

      The wrong democRATs are dying.

  8. driveby_poster says:

    Well, at least she didn’t drown in a car driven off of a bridge by some irresponsible, sex-crazed creep.

  9. Joey Tomm says:

    Oh my, that is jsut so so sad. Rest in Peace fair lady, RIP.

  10. George Powell says:

    “She’s with her father”…. yes, in hell.
    Doesn’t anyone remember that Teddy killed a girl? Then got away with it?

    1. Michael Gibson says:

      I know that Ted Kennedy was a drunk and a murderer also but that had little to do with his daughter.

    2. Mike B says:

      I am a conservative republican. I find several of the posts attacking the Kenedy family here are out of line. A woman dying so young is a tragedy and should not be taken as an opportunity to make political comments.

      1. still sober says:

        Anybody can say anything in a comment section. They can even claim to be “a conservative republican”.

      2. m321 says:

        Which I am, and I feel awful for the Kennedy’s and the Mondale’s

      3. kentex1146 says:

        A tragedy is what happened in Utah. This is just a person passing away. Get over it.!

      4. Jim Vernon says:

        To me it’s payback for Mary Jo…I only wish the old drunken fool was still here to suffer the pain of the “loss”….F the Kennedy’s..all of them!

  11. JoeAStroturf says:

    Horrible what you said. You must be a conservative. Don’t you know only rotten stinking teabagging democrats can say bad things. Get with the program.

    1. Michael Gibson says:

      You’re saying she lived less time than Mary Jo?

  12. Muslim Militiaman says:

    Patrick Kennedy is reporting this? I would take anything he says with a grain of salt. She’s probably just sleeping. Didn’t Patrick think he was going to “vote” in Congress at 3 AM and “wasn’t drinking” even though he was spotted at a bar drinking all night?

  13. politicalgrandma says:

    May God have mercy on you who are making such hateful comments. I hope she was a Christian and is now wirh Jesus.

    1. DrBeak says:

      One less privileged, spoiled, entitled brat to deal with! Who cares, they should all go as soon as possible!

    2. James Angryjew says:

      You HOPE she was a Christian? There are SO many things wrong with that statement I’m not even sure where to begin. While you may think you are a sending out a warm message, you are in fact showing the true face of hate and bigotry. And you might want to think about how UN-JESUS like your comment truly is.

      1. John says:

        Being a Christian does not get you to heaven dude. I hope she was saved. If she was, then she is, if she was not, then she is not. That simple. Read John 14:6. Same goes for all of the Kennedys, including fat head Ted.

        Aside from that, I don’t really give a rat’s ass about the Kennedy’s as public figures. And, I mean any of them. Their power and privilege began with their rum running great grandad.

    3. Mary Blumreich says:

      You are so right. What is wrong with people who cannot simply express sympathy towards a family who has lost a beloved member. I don’t know why people have to interject politics into such a sad event as this. As for determining who is in Heaven and who is not, that is God’s job, not ours.

  14. Walt Mitchell says:

    –Her brother Patrick Kennedy told The Associated Press on Saturday that “she’s with dad.” Their father, Senator Ted. Kennedy died in 2009.–

    Let’s hope she went to the other place. The better place.

  15. I'm still sober and can drive says:

    She worked with fetal alcohol syndrome, how fitting as she may have been a victim herself.
    “The late senator wrote in his 2009 memoir, “True Compass,” that “I had never seen a more beautiful baby, nor been happier in my life.” He might have had he not worked so hard to kill so many through abortions.
    “She was born in 1960 as her father campaigned for his brother, John F. Kennedy, during the presidential primaries.” Or out looking for more booze and broads.

    She lived to be 51, well that’s about 23 years longer than Mary JoKopeckne.
    When is this country going to get over the fricking Kennedy family?

  16. nuhnyuh beezwax says:

    Photo caption: “President Barack Obama (R)”

    Another fine day in the upside-down world of C-BS News.

  17. Joseph D Belyea Jr says:

    My Name Is JosephDBelyeaJr.. I’ve NEVER Met Any Of “THEM>” All I Can Say; “What Goes Around Comes Around.”

  18. yazak chattiest says:

    Photo caption: “President Barack Obama (R)”

    Another fine day in the upside-down world of C-BS News.

  19. p geisel says:

    WASHINGTON – AUGUST 12, 2009: U.S. President Barack Obama (R) presents the Medal of Freedom to Kara Kennedy on behalf of her father, Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-MA), during a ceremony in the OH PLEASE HE IS NOT A REPUBLICAN (OBAMA(R) East Room of the White House August 12, 2009 in Washington, DC. Obama presented the medal, the highest civilian honor in the United States, to 16 recipients during the ceremony. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

  20. Lord Elrond says:

    Like someone said above. She lived 23 years longer than Mary Jo who Teddie KILLED. And conservatives are disgusting?

  21. me321 says:

    God doesn’t ask what your political party is, just how charitable you were in life

  22. rufus levin says:

    I TRULY HOPE that she is NOT “with” Ted Kennedy, as he has a special place in HELL. To my knowledge, she did not kill anyone, rape anyone, or drink herself into oblivion …..

  23. Bill Baker says:

    According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 616,000 people die from heart attacks each year in the United States. Heart disease is the number 1 cause of death in the United States.

  24. Corkster51 says:

    There is something about kids born around 1960. my brother born in 1959 died of cancer in 1963. My brother born in 1960 had a massive stroke in 2004. My Mom blamed the cancer on strontium 90 from nuclear testing that was reportedly detected in milk (we lived in CT at the time). I’m no conspiracy theorist and these deaths are a snap shot, but it seems so weird that folks born around 1960 are having catastrophic health issues areound age 50. I was born in 1951…

  25. Zee says:

    I am so very saddened to hear this news. What a bright, talented and good spirit she was.
    Thank goodness her father is not here to yet suffer another family loss.
    Sympathies and condolences to her family and the Kennedy’s.

  26. Pamela Hausauer says:

    Sorry to hear of kara Kennedy,s death, also sorry to see some of the disgusting remarks!

  27. amplitude jones says:

    how on earth did even the EVIL ONE think ed kennedy and FREEDOM belong in the same sentence without it being stated “enemy of” is kennedy’s thing??
    And WHEN WILL They stop talking abou t”camelot this and camelot that, kennedy kennedy kennedy kennedy kennedy…

  28. Lorne says:

    What exactly does Kara’s death have to do with Mary Jo Kopeckne?
    Your comment shows what a small-minded, cruel, heartless person you are.

    1. still sober enough to drive says:

      Simply that the media laments the death of a Kennedy, but didn’t lament the death of Mary Jo. They were to busy covering up for old Ted.

  29. kentex1146 says:

    This will not affect the unemployment statistics because there’s never been a report of a Kennedy having a real job in the first place.

  30. George Powell says:

    We lived on the south side of Chicago in an industrial area in the 50’s through the 70’s. My 2 brothers have cancer. A plumber who came out to our house to fix our flooding told us the builder in our area (Calumet Park) simply covered the creek that ran from the industrial area at 119th street to the Calumet river. Probably heavy metals. That was a different day and age.
    I wonder if the Blacks who bought these houses realize what they have gotten into.

  31. jackieaxe says:

    So sad; to die at 51 with 2 tennager kids. I disagreed with most everything her father and brother Patrick did, however, in death I still repect them an dmy heart goes out to them. And if its privacy the family wants I hope this is the last I read about it though I know it probably wont be. I’m sorry for your loss Kennedy family.

  32. Jim Vernon says:

    What luck…two obama votes GONE in one day!!! Sweet!!!

    1. still sober enough to drive says:

      You know, you’re exactly right!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  33. aggieranch says:

    Faith, Their whole agenda is to get rid of faith. My condolences, but kind of weird when somebody is wanting something that they have been against.

  34. Don Iarussi says:

    wow , this is an evil family that has allot of bad karma, did grandpa sell hs soul to the devil?sad

  35. aggieranch says:

    I’m still thinking about what Mary Jo thinks about the whole situation.

  36. aggieranch says:

    I guess she will be seeing Mary Jo pretty soon then?

  37. Adam Wentworth says:

    I couldn’t care less

  38. randolphnurina says:

    Why do people equate the troubles of the Kennedy’s with “tragedy” or “fate.” It’s called LIFE! Someone here posted, “How can they bear the heartache?” What heartache? The Kennedy family are low lifes, their money comes from Old Joe bootlegging and stealing, his kids were bums and their kids are even worse. I don’t feel sorry for a moment for them. And Ted Kennedy was one of the worst, most destructive, partisan hacks, a heavy drinker and an absolute Plantation Slave Owner the way he pandered to black Americans for votes. RIP!

  39. Kurt says:

    Sad. The Kennedy curse continues. I think the Kennedy Dynasty is a thing of the past now

  40. Jeff in Kansas says:

    I never heard of her but no doubt she was a fine person and as a person who’s survived both cancer and a mild heart attack I admire her not letting it get her down.

    Besides it seems it’s the male side of the Kennedy clan that has trouble with the excesses of life.

    May Kara find peace and condolences to the whole family.

  41. Jim says:

    Didn’t the gym that she frequented as a rich and famous person have a defibrillator that might have saved her?

  42. bob says:

    5 down , a couple to go……..

  43. Jd says:

    My condolences, but I’m shocked at the fact she was so health conscious and yet still suffered a heart attack.

    It makes one wonder how much scientific data is actually scientifically true. MMGW is turning out to open a can of worms and I would surely question many scientific studies that are done to push a government agenda.

    She is hardly the first healthy person to die of a heart attack. I’ve seen unhealthy people live for years past their due date. Even cancer victims do not follow the research claims. Non smokers get cancer and bevy smokers do not.

    Question with boldness people.

  44. John Kaiser says:

    I hope her brother is wrong when he says “she’s with dad.” She surely deserves better than that.

  45. donh says:

    There is a reason so many Kennedies have been violantly cast down from above in plane crashes. There was even a plane crash on the day Kara died to remind you. Satan prepared a manger for the birth of his only begotten son. The son of the Devil has been born into the Kennedy family. The number of his name is 601, the age of Noah at the time of the flood. As he ages the family fortune is being consolidated into his hands by the power of death. Potential siblings have died while they slumbered in the womb. Other heirs have been cut down prematurely in freak events. The counterfit Kingdom grows in power over the world. The Holy Roman Empire has risen. The comet has ripped the sky. Man is turning against his brother in approach to the final assault in which man exists no more. The movie the Omen is no work of fiction. It is a very real prophesy manifestation of the Book of Revelations which predicted it all. ….

  46. I sincerely don’t think anydody deserves to be judged on the basis of ancestry history/conduct. One is accountably for her/his own choices in life not those made by one’s parents and other ancestors.

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