When most people think about the Kennedys, they usually think about the family in relation to politics, and for good reason, as the Kennedy family have left an indelible mark on American politics. There are many reasons for their long-term public success, but one of the main ways the Kennedys have kept their dynastic influence alive is through good parenting. A few weeks ago, we took a look at the mothers of the Kennedy family, but now, in celebration of Father’s Day, let’s take a look at the great dads of the Kennedy family.


Of course, what better way to celebrate the fathers of the Kennedy Family than to start with the patriarch of the family himself, Joseph P. Kennedy. Besides being father to 9 children, Joseph Kennedy has quite the professional resume as the first chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, director of the Maritime Commission, and United States Ambassador to the United Kingdom. On top of all of this, he even spent some time in Hollywood merging and acquiring several Hollywood studios, which ultimately became RKO studios. His hard work and dedication throughout his life set a great example for his children to follow in.


HYANNIS PORT, UNITED STATES: Picture dated March 1938 in Hyannis port of Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy with her husband Joseph,. (Photo credit should read AFP/AFP via Getty Images)


Robert Kennedy was able to maintain an illustrious political career even while fathering eleven(!) children. RFK began his career as a correspondent for The Boston Post before becoming a lawyer for the Justice Department. He did that for a few years before he managed JFK’s campaign for the U.S. Senate in 1952. RFK would later manage JFK’s presidential campaign in 1960, and remained a close aide to his brother until his assassination in 1963. RFK was appointed as U.S. Attorney General at the young age of 35, one of the youngest cabinet members in American history. Later, in 1968, RFK was riding high as one of the front-runners in the Democratic primary. Shortly after winning the California primary on June 5th, 1868, he was mortally wounded by gunfire, and tragically passed away 25 hours later. While his political career was tragically cut short, his legacy as a great man lives on in his numerous children.

BOSTON, MA – JULY 12: Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy and his wife, Ethel, leave St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Boston, MA with their eighth son, Christopher George, for their summer home on July 12, 1963. Christopher George was born on July 4. (Photo by Charles Dixon/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)



Widely known as “The Lion of The Senate” due to his long tenure and influence as a U.S. Senator, Ted Kennedy balanced his long and storied political career while being a father to three children. Ted Kennedy entered the senate in 1962, at just 30 years old. He held his seat for nearly 47 years until his death in 2009. At the time of his death, he was the second-most senior member of the Senate, and he still holds the record for fifth longest tenure as a U.S. Senator. During his tenure, he wrote more than 300 hills and helped pass dozens of laws across the Senate floor. His legacy as a senator and family man continues today.

Senator Edward “Ted” Kennedy points out items on an election poster to his children Teddie and Kara at his family’s polling place, the Charles Street Meeting House. Their mother Joan looks on. Boston, Massachusetts, November 3, 1970.


John F. Kennedy was able to balance one of the most successful and public political careers in American history while also being present for his two children. Serving as a commander in the Navy, then as a journalist before beginning his political career, Kennedy jumped into politics serving in the House of Representatives. After that, he had a stint as a U.S. Senator before his successful presidential campaign in 1960. To this day, Kennedy is the youngest president to ever hold office by election, securing the presidency at the age of 43. To this day, he is one of the most successful and influential politicians in American history.

US President John F Kennedy works in the Oval Office of the White House while children John Kennedy Jr and Caroline Kennedy play, October 10, 1962. Photo by Cecil Stoughton. (Photo via Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images).


Want to learn more about the fathers of the Kennedy family? Check out this episode detailing the life of Joseph P. Kennedy, and this episode detailing Ted Kennedy’s life and career. Thanks for reading!