Caroline Bouvier Kennedy was born in November 1957, the
second child of Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy and Senator John
F. Kennedy. (The Kennedy's first child, a daughter, was
stillborn 15 months before Caroline's birth.) Her brother,
John Jr., with whom she was extremely close, arrived in
1960. Together they symbolized a new age in Washington,
D.C.: a young, vibrant family, headed by a charismatic,
brilliant father and elegant, sophisticated mother.
But Caroline's early exposure to family tragedy shattered
that idyll. First, the death of a second brother, Patrick,
who was born prematurely. Then, three months later, the
tragedy that shook the world: the assassination of her
father, the 35th president of the United States.
Jackie and the children closed ranks, supported by Bobby
Kennedy, the late president's brother. But when Bobby, too,
was killed by an assassin's bullet in 1968, Jackie took
decisive action. She married Aristotle Onassis, a Greek
shipping tycoon, in October of that same year. This was
her attempt to find for her family a measure of financial
and personal security. Caroline and John attended private
school on New York's Upper East Side, and spent summers on
Onassis' private island, Skorpios in Greece. Jackie was
determined that her children would have normal childhoods:
she protected them from the intrusions of the press, and
encouraged them to succeed on their own terms.
In 1972 Caroline entered Concord Academy in Massachusetts.
Her interests included film, photography and social issues.
In 1973 she interviewed coal miners in Tennessee for a
documentary, and the following summer she visited drug
rehab centers in Hong Kong and worked as an intern at her
Uncle Ted's Washington office. After graduating from
Concord, she studied art appreciation in London.
Caroline was drawn to the media as a career and interned
at the New York Daily News in 1977. She graduated in 1979
with a degree in fine arts and began working at the
Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1980. While there, she met
Edwin Schlossberg, a cultural historian who was quiet,
affluent, artistic and intellectual. They fell deeply in
love but moved forward slowly.
She graduated from Harvard University, and then Columbia
Law School. In 1986, she married Edwin Schlossberg on Cape
Cod. They have 3 children, Rose born in 1988, Tatiana born
in May 1990, and John Bouvier Kennedy Schlossberg, born in
She published her first book in 1990, "In Our Defense -
The Bill of Rights In Action," and co-wrote her second
book, "The Right To Privacy," a Constitutional study, which
was published in the Fall of 1995.
Caroline continues to keep the inspiration and the memory
of her father alive. In 1989 she was a co-founder of the
Profiles in Courage Awards, which are given annually to
politicians who perform acts of political bravery. Upon her
mother's death in 1994, she assumed her place as an
honorary chairwoman of the American Ballet Theatre. She is
also the president of the Kennedy Library Foundation.
Tragedy struck again on 7/16/1999 when John Jr.'s plane
went down into the ocean off the coast of Martha's
Vineyard. During the painful first year after the loss,
Caroline held fast to her Catholic faith, relatives and
public duties, but kept grounded by tending to her kid's
colds, homework and meals, often cooking dinner in spite of
Though Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg inherited her mother's
press-shy nature, she has always been cognizant of the
legacy left by her father. The legacy of public expectation
that Kennedys, often dubbed "America's Royal Family," can
and will live public lives. With encouragement by her
mother and brother, she has forged her own path in life.
This allows her to answer her own phone, spend time with
her husband, and walk her children to school.