Jean Kennedy Smith, last surviving JFK sibling, dies at 92

Jean Kennedy Smith, last surviving JFK sibling, dies at 92
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Jean Kennedy Smith, a sister of former President John F. Kennedy, died Wednesday night at her home in Manhattan, her daughter Kym Smith confirmed to The New York Times. She was 92. 

Smith, the eighth of nine children, was the last surviving sibling of JFK. 

In 1993, she was named ambassador to Ireland by then-President Clinton, where she played a role in the Northern Ireland peace process. She helped persuade Clinton to grant a visa to Gerry Adams, the chief of the Irish Republican Army-linked (IRA) Sinn Fein Party, in 1994, defying the British government, which had branded Adams a terrorist, The Associated Press noted in its obituary. 


Smith would later reportedly call criticism of her actions toward the IRA “unfortunate,” saying she thought history would credit the Clinton admission with helping the peace process in Northern Ireland. 

In 1998, Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern said, “it is not an understatement to say that if [the visa for Adams] didn’t happen at the time, perhaps other events may not have fallen into place,” according to the AP. 

Smith also founded the Very Special Arts center in 1974. The program provides activities and educational opportunities in the arts for people with physical or mental disabilities. 

Smith was born in Brookline, Mass., in 1928.

In 1956, she married Stephen Edward Smith, the Kennedy family financial adviser and future White House chief of staff, who died in 1990.

She is survived by her daughters Kym and Amanda, her sons Stephen Jr. and William, and six grandchildren, according to the Times.