John F Kennedy Jr celebrated his birthday on November 25, the same day that his father would be buried.
The eldest child of President John F Kennedy and First Lady Jackie Kennedy was born today, November 25, in 1960. John F Kennedy Jr would go on to celebrate his birthday on the same day that his father was buried, before his own untimely death on July 16, 1999, aged just 39.
Here are the top facts you should know about John F Kennedy Jr:
1. He was the first child ever born to a sitting President and it made for some iconic pictures: who can forget the sight of little John-John playing under the Resolute Desk or strolling hand in hand with his father through the White House?
2. He tried to woo Madonna over cocktails in Waterford Crystal glasses at the family compound in Cape Cod: the glasses were a present to the Kennedy children on a trip to Ireland six years after their father’s death and according to historian Christopher Anderson, "Inside the compound, they curled up by the fire, sipping daiquiris from Waterford Crystal glasses marked 'Caroline' and 'John-John,’”
3. He died in a plane crash: JFK Jr had dreamed of flying his own plane since childhood and aged 39 he and his wife, Carolyn, soared up into the sky in a Piper Saratoga light aircraft. They were on their way to attend his cousin’s wedding in Martha’s Vineyard but they would never arrive. Later the debris of the plane was found scattered across the Atlantic Ocean and once again the nation mourned for a Kennedy cut down in his prime.
5. He might have been President: America is officially a Republic, but in practice, the White House has a revolving door for a select few families - like the Roosevelts and the Bushes. With his connections, family name, good looks, and money, it’s safe to say JFK Jr stood a better chance at making it to the Oval Office than an average citizen.
Jackie O's old assistant, Kathy McKeon was certain he'd make a run for the White House.
“If her [Caroline] brother wasn’t gone, he’d probably be running for president,’’ she mused recently.
“When Caroline was growing up, she always said she wanted to be a wife and mother, and she is a very good mother. But the Kennedys are go-getters who never give up, and after John died, I think Caroline had that sense of duty in her to follow in her father’s footsteps, and I believe she’ll pull it off.
“I really think she might be the first lady president.’’
6. He once had a playdate with Robert Chambers, the so-called “Preppy Killer” but the age gap between the two was six years and Jackie O didn’t think a second playdate appropriate.
Robert Chambers later gained nationwide notoriety for killing 18-year-old Jennifer Levin, so it’s probably just as well.
*Originally published in 2017.