[Senate Document 106-7] [From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]
JOHN FITZGERALD KENNEDY Jr. 1960 -1999 Memorial Tributes in the One Hundred Sixth Congress of the United States
Printed by authority of S. Res. 161, 106th Congress Senate Document 106-7 __________ U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE WASHINGTON : 1999 Compiled under the direction of the Joint Committee on Printing C O N T E N T S Biography............................................. v Proceedings in the Senate: Prayer............................................. 3 Introduction of S. Res. 157........................ 4 Introduction of S. Res. 161........................ 5 Tributes by Senators: Boxer, Barbara, of California.................. 6 Byrd, Robert C., of West Virginia.............. 7 Daschle, Tom, of South Dakota.................. 9 Dodd, Christopher J., of Connecticut........... 12 Dorgan, Byron L., of North Dakota.............. 13 Durbin, Richard J., of Illinois................ 15 Feingold, Russell D., of Wisconsin............. 16 Hatch, Orrin G., of Utah....................... 17 Lautenberg, Frank, of New Jersey............... 18 Mack, Connie, of Florida....................... 19 Mikulski, Barbara A., of Maryland.............. 19 Moynihan, Daniel Patrick, of New York.......... 21 Reid, Harry, of Nevada......................... 24 Sarbanes, Paul S., of Maryland................. 26 Schumer, Charles E., of New York............... 26 Thompson, Fred, of Tennessee................... 27 Thurmond, Strom, of South Carolina............. 27 Warner, John W., of Virginia................... 28 Wellstone, Paul, of Minnesota.................. 30 Proceedings in the House of Representatives: Tributes by Representatives: Engel, Eliot L., of New York................... 31 Statements from the White House: President William J. Clinton....................... 33 Vice President Albert Gore Jr...................... 33 Memorial Services Church of St. Thomas More.......................... 35 Special Tribute by Senator Edward M. Kennedy... 35 Reading by Anne Freeman........................ 39 Reading by Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg........ 39 Commentary and Tributes In His Own Words, Los Angeles Times................ 55 A Prince, But Also a Populist, Newsday............. 56 Bessette Sisters: Friends, Colleagues Share Memories of Two Standouts, The New York Daily News............................................. 61 Kennedy Genuine Article, The New York Daily News... 63 The Beliefs That Survive a Death in the Family, The Boston Globe..................................... 65 More Than Mere Glamour, The New York Times......... 67 JFK Jr.: Charity's Dream Prize, The Washington Post 69 Son of Privilege Fathered Many Good Works, USA Today............................................ 70 JFK Jr. Kept his Charitable Work Private, But Helped Thousands, The Boston Globe............... 73 Post Reporter Recalls JFK Jr. Fondly, The New York Post............................................. 75 John F. Kennedy--The Man I Knew, The Man I'll Miss, The New York Post................................ 76 Rubles for John-John, The Washington Post.......... 78 America's Family, The Wall Street Journal.......... 80 He Quietly Laid Gifts of Aid Before Hundreds, The New York Daily News.............................. 82 The Kennedy Curse, and Other Myths, The New York Times............................................ 84 Words of Admiration and Remembrance, USA Today..... 86 Grace Under the Glare, Time Magazine............... 90 Brought Up to Be a Good Man, Time Magazine......... 92 The Boy We Called John-John, Time Magazine......... 94 Coming of Age in Public, The New Yorker Magazine... 96 The Actor, The New Yorker Magazine................. 98 TriBeCa Waits for Normalcy, The New Yorker Magazine 100 A Legacy of Public Service, Time Magazine.......... 102 Answering the Call, Time Magazine.................. 104 Goodbye to Our Boy, Time Magazine.................. 105 ``That Discourtesy of Death,'' The Weekly Standard. 107 Remembering John, People Magazine.................. 109 A Death in the American Family, Newsweek Memorial Issue............................................ 112 A Tribute, Newsweek Memorial Issue................. 116 Great Expectations, Vanity Fair.................... 118 Editor's Letter, George Magazine................... 120 Statement of Paul G. Kirk Jr., Board Chairman of the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation, John F. Kennedy Library Newsletter....................... 122 B I O G R A P H Y John Fitzgerald Kennedy Jr., Editor-in-Chief of George Magazine was born in Washington, D.C., November 25, 1960 to then President-Elect John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy. He attended Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts, graduating in 1979. In 1983 he graduated from Brown University with a degree in History and took a position in the New York City Office of Business Development in 1984. John spoke movingly before the Democratic National Convention in Atlanta in 1988. Mindful of the social responsibilities his family had always undertaken, he started Reaching Up, a support and advanced training program for those working with people with mental retardation in 1989. Turning to law, John graduated from New York University Law School in 1989 and held a job as Prosecutor in the Manhattan District Attorney's Office from 1989 to 1993. He was a founding member of the Profile In Courage Award Committee of the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation and served on it from 1989 until his death in 1999. John married Carolyn Bessette in 1996, the same year he launched George Magazine. John Kennedy Jr. died with his wife Carolyn and sister-in- law Lauren Bessette in his private plane when it crashed into the sea near Martha's Vineyard on July 16, 1999. Memorial Tributes to JOHN FITZGERALD KENNEDY Jr. PROCEEDINGS IN THE SENATE Monday, July 19, 1999. PRAYER The Senate met at 12:01 p.m. and was called to order by the President pro tempore [Mr. Thurmond]. The Chaplain, Dr. Lloyd John Ogilvie, offered the following prayer: Gracious God, You have made this life but a small part of the whole of eternity. You have defeated the enemy of death and made it a transition in living. Our life here on earth is only an inch on the yardstick of forever. You are Lord of earth and of heaven. It is in this confidence that we join this prayer with the millions of prayers for the Kennedy and Bessette families. Grant them supernatural strength, comfort, and courage in their time of immense anguish over the plane accident involving John F. Kennedy Jr., his wife Carolyn, and her sister, Lauren Bessette. O dear God, we speak of these three remarkable young leaders in the present tense for, regardless of the outcome of this tragic accident, they are alive with You. This morning our hearts go out in profound love and caring for our friend, Senator Ted Kennedy, and the entire Kennedy family. They have endured the excruciating pain of grief so often. And yet, through it all, they have shown us the resiliency of faith in You and the uplifting strength of an indefatigable commitment to public service. No American family has given more or served this Nation more faithfully. Now we praise You for the life of John F. Kennedy Jr.--for his winsome, winning way, for his commitment to service and, along with his wife Carolyn, for his affirmation of life. Now we ask You to continue to surround the families with Your everlasting arms and heal their aching hearts through Him who is the Resurrection and the Life. Amen. RESOLUTIONS OF RESPECT Monday, July 19, 1999. Senate Resolution 157--Relative to the Disappearance of John F. Kennedy Jr., Carolyn Bessette Kennedy, and Lauren Bessette Mr. LOTT (for himself, Mr. Daschle, Mr. Abraham, Mr. Akaka, Mr. Allard, Mr. Ashcroft, Mr. Baucus, Mr. Bayh, Mr. Bennett, Mr. Biden, Mr. Bingaman, Mr. Bond, Mrs. Boxer, Mr. Breaux, Mr. Brownback, Mr. Bryan, Mr. Bunning, Mr. Burns, Mr. Byrd, Mr. Campbell, Mr. Chafee, Mr. Cleland, Mr. Cochran, Ms. Collins, Mr. Conrad, Mr. Coverdell, Mr. Craig, Mr. Crapo, Mr. DeWine, Mr. Dodd, Mr. Domenici, Mr. Dorgan, Mr. Durbin, Mr. Edwards, Mr. Enzi, Mr. Feingold, Mrs. Feinstein, Mr. Fitzgerald, Mr. Frist, Mr. Gorton, Mr. Graham, Mr. Gramm, Mr. Grams, Mr. Grassley, Mr. Gregg, Mr. Hagel, Mr. Harkin, Mr. Hatch, Mr. Helms, Mr. Hollings, Mr. Hutchinson, Mrs. Hutchison, Mr. Inhofe, Mr. Inouye, Mr. Jeffords, Mr. Johnson, Mr. Kennedy, Mr. Kerrey, Mr. Kerry, Mr. Kohl, Mr. Kyl, Ms. Landrieu, Mr. Lautenberg, Mr. Leahy, Mr. Levin, Mr. Lieberman, Mrs. Lincoln, Mr. Lugar, Mr. Mack, Mr. McCain, Mr. McConnell, Ms. Mikulski, Mr. Moynihan, Mr. Murkowski, Mrs. Murray, Mr. Nickles, Mr. Reed, Mr. Reid, Mr. Robb, Mr. Roberts, Mr. Rockefeller, Mr. Roth, Mr. Santorum, Mr. Sarbanes, Mr. Schumer, Mr. Sessions, Mr. Shelby, Mr. Smith of Oregon, Ms. Snowe, Mr. Specter, Mr. Stevens, Mr. Thomas, Mr. Thompson, Mr. Thurmond, Mr. Torricelli, Mr. Voinovich, Mr. Warner, Mr. Wellstone, and Mr. Wyden) submitted the following resolution; which was considered and agreed to: S. Res. 157 Whereas it is with profound sorrow and regret that the Senate has learned that John Fitzgerald Kennedy Jr., his wife Carolyn Bessette Kennedy, and her sister Lauren Bessette have been missing since the early morning hours of Saturday, July 17, 1999; Whereas John Fitzgerald Kennedy Jr. is the son of the late John Fitzgerald Kennedy, the 35th President of the United States of America and Senator from Massachusetts, and nephew of the late Senator Robert Francis Kennedy of New York, and of Senator Edward Moore Kennedy of Massachusetts, and a beloved member of the Kennedy family, which has given countless years of service to this country; and Whereas the heart of the Nation goes out to the Kennedy and Bessette families as search efforts continue in the waters off Martha's Vineyard: Now, therefore, be it Resolved, That the Senate, when it adjourns on Monday, July 19, 1999, does so as a further mark of respect for the grieving families, and directs the Secretary to transmit a copy of this resolution to the Kennedy and Bessette families. Thursday, July 22, 1999. Senate Resolution 161--to Authorize the Printing of ``Memorial Tributes to John Fitzgerald Kennedy Jr.'' Mr. DASCHLE (for himself and Mr. Lott) submitted the following resolution, which was considered and agreed to: S. Res. 161 Whereas John Fitzgerald Kennedy Jr. was a notable and influential public figure who was born into and lived his life in the public sphere; Whereas John Fitzgerald Kennedy Jr. comported himself with modesty and dignity, consistently displaying an admirable grace under pressure and a genuine concern for the well-being of other persons, in the grand tradition of his family; Whereas John Fitzgerald Kennedy Jr. was a significant figure who ably represented a family dedicated to public service, and who personally won a place in the hearts of the American people; Whereas the Nation mourns the tragic loss of John Fitzgerald Kennedy Jr., his wife Carolyn Bessette Kennedy, and her sister Lauren Bessette; and Whereas on July 19, 1999, the Senate expressed its condolences to the Kennedy and Bessette families: Now, therefore, be it Resolved, Section 1. Printing of the ``Memorial Tributes to John Fitzgerald Kennedy Jr.'' (a) In General.--There shall be printed, as a Senate Document, the book entitled ``Memorial Tributes to John Fitzgerald Kennedy Jr.'' prepared under the supervision of the Secretary of the Senate. (b) Specifications.--The document described in subsection (a) shall include illustrations and shall be in such style, form, manner, and binding as is directed by the Joint Committee on Printing after consultation with the Secretary of the Senate. TRIBUTES BY SENATORS The Honorable Barbara Boxer of California Mr. President, Californians have been deeply saddened and moved by a number of losses we have faced. One involves the death of the senior member of our California Democratic delegation, George Brown, who was a beloved Congressman on both sides of the aisle. As a matter of fact, one of the Republicans in the House said on his passing, if everyone was like George Brown, we would not need to go on retreats to find out how to get along better with one another. George Brown was that kind of person. George was a man of great compassion, of great reason. He was consistent. He never changed his views according to the polls. He was a mentor of mine when he ran for the Senate in 1970, which takes us back a long time. I very proudly worked on his campaign simply as a volunteer. He was an advocate for science and technology, and although he was 79 years old, he was an ageless person. He had so many young ideas, and he was so future oriented. Then, of course, the Nation faced the tragedy that befell the Kennedy family once again with the tragic loss of John F. Kennedy Jr., and his wife and her sister. The press was calling and asking for a comment. I said it truly is a tragedy beyond words. I think at times such as these all you can really do is pray that the family will be able to cope with a loss of such enormity. I particularly want to spend a moment talking about my colleague, Ted Kennedy, because after all the tragedies with which the family has had to deal, Ted has become a real father figure to the entire next generation of Kennedys. I know how Senator Kennedy teaches those of us who have not been here as long as he, how he monitors us and guides us. I can just imagine the close bond he had with John Kennedy Jr., and what this has done to his heart. I know when he does come back, every one of us will give him our strength. When President Kennedy died, Robert Kennedy said the following: When I think of President Kennedy, I think of what Shakespeare said in Romeo and Juliet: When he shall die, take him and cut him out into stars and he shall make the face of heaven so fine that all the world will be in love with night and pay no worship to the garish sun. I think when we think of John Kennedy Jr., I will think of him sharing in those bright stars. To close, I have a poem that was written by someone who is in her thirties. I think the words will have meaning for those who look to John, Jr., for their future. This is what it is called: ``If Only We Could Have Said Goodbye.'' Our special son the namesake he of honorable tradition to serve our great country Passed down through generations of dedicated, determined souls He understood our devotion and carried with him a nation's hope This honor never did he shun In public he graced us well With patience he regaled us with tales Of hiding behind the Oval's chair, Or that indelible salute We mourned together his father's fate While marveling his mother's grace These traits were passed on to Kennedy's own to John, indeed Could he be the return of Camelot? We wondered and inside we cheered this Kennedy's fate with the wish that he could fulfill in his time those hopes left so unmade Or perhaps just share with us, a bit of the mystery, a bit of your name If only we could have said goodbye Mr. President, it is a sad day across this land. Our prayers are with the Kennedy family and the Bessette family. I thank the majority leader for yielding me this time. __ The Honorable Robert C. Byrd of West Virgina Mr. President, the small, serious, tousled-hair lad seemed, even at the tender age of 3, to know just the right thing to do. With a straight back and a smart, entirely proper, military salute, John F. Kennedy Jr. expressed the grief of an entire Nation with a dignity far beyond his years. He was only 3, yet he gave the Nation a lasting, memorable, indelible image, an image that is remembered by millions and captured on videotape for generations to come. Now John F. Kennedy Jr. has, himself, been lost at an age far too young for easy acceptance by a country which had affectionately watched him grow to manhood. His untimely death feels as heavy and oppressive as the too hot, too dry summer in which he lived his final days. Words fail to express the special deprivation that the human spirit feels when the young, the beautiful, the handsome, the vital among us are suddenly taken from our midst before they have fulfilled their potential promise. Especially, in this case, the mind reels at the spectre of yet another Kennedy, taken too soon, yet another unbearable sorrow for this family which has had so much sorrow to bear. Yet this incredible American family will undoubtedly once again demonstrate to the Nation that they will endure, and that it is how one lives, and not how one dies, that ultimately matters. John Kennedy Jr., his wife Carolyn, and his sister-in-law Lauren Bessette have vanished in the summer night in the springtime of their years, and our hearts go out to the Bessette and the Kennedy families. I am particularly saddened for my good friend, Senator Ted Kennedy. He is a great Senator. He is a great figure on the American political stage. I know that his heart must be broken by this latest family tragedy, yet I am confident that his expansive spirit and his deep faith in God will see him safely to a harbor of peace and of comfort. My wife Erma and I offer our prayers and our deepest sympathies to him and to the families at this saddest of sad times. Ted Kennedy, in July of 1996--3 years ago--presented to me a book titled ``American Poetry.'' I have chosen a bit of poetry by Nathaniel Hawthorne from that book for the Record today. It seems to me that it is most appropriate for this occasion. The title of this poem is ``The Ocean.'' The Ocean has its silent caves, Deep, quiet and alone; Though there be fury on the waves, Beneath them there is none. The awful spirits of the deep Hold their communion there; And there are those for whom we weep, The young, the bright, the fair. Calmly the wearied seamen rest Beneath their own blue sea. The ocean solitudes are blest, For there is purity. The earth has guilt, the earth has care, Unquiet are its graves; But peaceful sleep is ever there, Beneath the dark blue waves. Mr. President, I am going to honor the request by the distinguished majority leader, and I am going to yield the floor now. But I will ask unanimous consent that I may be recognized to make a second speech, to which I had alluded earlier, which will probably require no longer than 15 minutes at that time. The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection? Without objection, it is so ordered. Mr. BYRD. I thank the Chair, and I yield the floor. __ The Honorable Thomas A. Daschle of South Dakota Like so many of us, I listened all weekend long to the news reports, and held onto hope long past the point when it was reasonable to do so. I wanted so much for there to be a different ending--for John F. Kennedy Jr., his wife Carolyn, and her sister Lauren to somehow, miraculously, have survived. So like people all across our Nation, all across the world, I kept a vigil. Then, Sunday night, the Coast Guard announced that the rescue mission had become a recovery mission. Today, our thoughts and prayers are with the Kennedy and Bessette families. We pray that God will comfort them and help them bear this grief that must seem unbearable now. We offer our sympathies, as well, to the many friends of John Kennedy, Carolyn Bessette Kennedy, and Lauren Bessette. They, too, have suffered a great loss. I want my friend, Senator Edward Kennedy, John's uncle, to know, as I have told him personally, we are praying for him. Just last week, Senator Kennedy stood on this floor and spoke about people who had died too young, and the heartbroken families they had left behind. He urged us to pass real patient protections so other families would not have to experience that same pain. Today, once again, it is Senator Kennedy's family, along with the Bessette family, who are experiencing the pain of death that comes far too soon. More than a century ago, the great New England poet, Emily Dickinson, sent a letter to a friend who had lost someone very dear. ``When not inconvenient to your heart,'' she wrote, ``please remember us, and let us help you carry [your grief], if you grow tired.'' I know I speak for many of us when I say to Senator Kennedy: Please--if there is any way--let us help you carry your grief if you grow tired. You and your family have given our Nation so much. Let us--if we can--give something back to you. All weekend, I watched the news. Over and over again, I saw that heartbreaking image of the little boy saluting his father's coffin. Then came the announcement that the little boy was gone, too. And just when I thought I finally understood the magnitude of the loss, I listened to the news again this morning, and I heard friends of John F. Kennedy Jr. say they felt certain he would have run for public office one day-- probably for a seat in the United States Senate. I don't know if that is true. I do know that John F. Kennedy Jr. believed deeply in public service. He believed what his father had said: ``To those whom much is given, much is required.'' If he had chosen to run for the Senate, I have no doubt he would have succeeded, and he would have been a great Senator. I suspect we will regret for a long, long time what John Kennedy did not have time to give us. I hope we will also remember, and treasure, what he did have time to give us. Those moments of joy when he was a little boy playing in the Oval Office with his sister and father; his stunning example of courage when he said good-bye to his father. I hope we will remember: His kindness and surprising humility; his inventiveness, and his professional success; the good humor and amazing grace with which he accepted celebrity; the dignity with which he bore his sorrows; and the happiness he found in his life, particularly in his marriage. Some years ago, another young man died too young. Alex Coffin, the son of Reverend William Sloane Coffin, was driving in a terrible storm when his car plunged into Boston Harbor and he drowned. He was 24 years old. Ten days later, William Sloane Coffin spoke about Alex's death to his parishioners at Riverside Church in New York City. I want to read a short section of his sermon, because I think it bears repeating today. The one thing no one should ever say about Alex's death--or the death of any young person--is that it is God's will. ``No one,'' Reverend Coffin said, ``knows enough to say that . . . God does not go around this world with his finger on triggers, his fist around knives, his hands on steering wheels. God is dead set against all unnatural deaths . . . My own consolation lies in knowing that . . . when the waves closed over the sinking car, God's heart was the first of all our hearts to break.'' None of us knows why John Kennedy Jr., Carolyn Bessette Kennedy, and Lauren Bessette were taken from us in the prime of their lives. We do not know why the Kennedy family has had to endure so much sorrow over so many years. Nor do we know why the Bessette family has to suffer such an incomprehensibly huge loss all at once. What we do know is that the hearts of the Kennedys and the Bessettes were not the only hearts that broke when the waves closed over that sinking plane last Friday night. We are all heartbroken by the deaths of three such remarkable young people. Not long ago, I came across a book of poems by another man who also lost a young son. The man's name is David Ray. His son's name was Sam. Sam died, at 19, also in a car accident. After Sam's death, his father wrote a whole series of poems to him, and about him. I'd like to read a very short one; it's called ``Another Trick of the Mind.'' Out of a book, a little trick-- Instead of the picture and much longing for that lost face, place yourself within the frame. You are back together again, if only in the past, or in the dream, or this gilded picture in mind. But it is no longer a dream, or a picture of loss. And then you go on, down the road you have to go, together. In our memories, we all have a scrapbook full of images of John Kennedy Jr. Perhaps in the days ahead, when the sadness creeps up on us, we can imagine--just for a moment--that John and Carolyn and Lauren are still with us. And we can go down the road we have to go, together. And maybe when we play that trick on ourselves, and our sadness lifts for that moment, we can remember how fortunate we were to have had them with us as long as we did. __ Mr. President, last week was one of unimaginable shock and sorrow for the families of John Kennedy Jr., Carolyn Bessette Kennedy, and Lauren Bessette. We prayed as we first heard the news that their plane had disappeared. We hoped against hope as the Coast Guard, the Navy and the National Transportation Safety Board conducted their ``search and rescue'' mission, and we anguished when they shifted to ``search and recovery,'' Now, as John, Carolyn, and Lauren are laid to rest in the ocean that claimed their lives, we grieve. Much has been said these past weeks--in this Chamber, across the country, and around the world--about these three exceptional young people. We have heard again and again how John, Carolyn, and Lauren loved life. We have heard so many stories of their compassion and grace, their generosity and their considerable talents. We've heard, most heartbreakingly, about their potential. They had, each of them, the capacity for greatness. That is part of what makes their loss so profound. The great poet William Wordsworth wrote: What though the radiance which was once so bright Be now for ever taken from my sight Though nothing can bring back the hour Of splendor in the grass, of glory in the flower; We will grieve not, rather find Strength in what remains behind. Nothing can bring back the splendor of their lives, or their potential. We are left now with only our memories of John Kennedy Jr., his wife Carolyn, and her sister Lauren. With that in mind, Senator Lott and I are introducing a resolution to authorize the printing of ``Memorial Tributes to John Fitzgerald Kennedy Jr.'' These are our own tributes and condolences offered on this floor, this week, by Members of the United States Senate. I ask the Senate to pass a resolution so that we may share our tributes with the families of John Kennedy, Carolyn Bessette Kennedy, and Lauren Bessette. I can only hope the Kennedy, Bessette, and Freeman families are able to find some small strength in the memories of their loved ones, and in the words and sympathy of those who grieve with them. __ The Honorable Christopher J. Dodd of Connecticut Mr. President, I want to address the Senate for a few moments about a topic I know has consumed the attention of each and every one of us in this Chamber, indeed all Americans, over the past several days, and that is the tragic deaths of John Kennedy Jr., his wife Carolyn, and her sister Lauren Bessette. Permit me, if you will, to engage in a little regional chauvinism, for there are few things in life so pleasant as a New England summer day. It is glorious to behold. The warm sweet air, the cold waters of its rivers and lakes and ocean seem to command a celebration of the very simple pleasures of life. On this past Saturday, though, the inherent joy of a New England summer season dissolved throughout America with the news that these three young people were lost off the New England coast. Lost on a day that seemed meant for gladness, not grief. Lost in waters that should have welcomed pleasure, not disaster. For one family, the Kennedy family, a moment of a family's supreme joy--a wedding--was snatched greedily by the hand of a very cruel fate, indeed. Most of us spent the better part of this past weekend hoping against hope that John and Carolyn and Lauren could be found safe and alive. By Sunday night we were resigned to the awful truth. Two American families have endured unspeakable loss. One of those families, which is represented by the Bessette and Freeman families, we know very little about. They are constituents of mine and my colleague, Senator Lieberman. We know very little about them other than the fact of their tragic loss. We can only imagine the joy and love and, yes, the easy and brilliant summer days, that they shared with these two remarkable and talented young women. The other family we know a great deal about--about its moments of triumph and tragedy--and through it all their consistent service to our Nation and to humanity. It happens that the patriarch, if you will, today of that family is our colleague and one of my dearest friends in this body, Ted Kennedy. We can only wonder at the immense burden of the grief he carries for his relatives over this loss and over all the other senseless, excruciating losses endured by the Kennedy family over the years. Those of us who have come to know him can only admire his courage and perseverance in the face of adversity which would wither the will of other men. I know I speak for all of us here, and that I echo the sentiments expressed here on the floor this morning and last evening by other colleagues, in saying that we send our deepest sympathies to him, to his family, and to the family of Carolyn and Lauren Bessette. Mr. President, I yield the floor. __ The Honorable Byron L. Dorgan of North Dakota Madam President, the Senator from Alaska has offered, on behalf of Senator Daschle and Senator Lott, a resolution dealing with the issue of the apparent tragedy that has befallen John F. Kennedy Jr., Carolyn Bessette Kennedy, and Lauren Bessette. I want to make a comment about that because I know that, along with most Americans, this weekend when we heard the news of the disappearance of John F. Kennedy Jr., along with his wife and sister-in-law, most of us were quite shocked and deeply saddened by the news. This was a young man whose life had such bright promise. He was born the son of a young, new President of the United States. That President's life was cut short by assassination just 3 years into his term. I and countless thousands of other young Americans were inspired by John F. Kennedy, by his energy, and by the passion and ideals of his administration. The experience of being in high school and college and watching the emergence of this new, energetic, young President on the scene in this country was something that inspired many young Americans toward public service. That includes my early interest in public service. When John F. Kennedy was assassinated, I think most of us who were called to public service, or at least were called to an interest in public service back in that period, believed there was kind of an unfinished nature to the legacy of his administration and his Presidency. I think many thought over the years that this young man, John F. Kennedy Jr., was in some way destined to complete that legacy of public service. Now another tragedy has visited this family which has already given so much to this country, and has taken from us this wonderful, unique young man. I want to join with all of my colleagues in extending our sympathies to our colleague, Senator Kennedy, to the entire Kennedy family, and to the Bessette family. This is a very difficult time for all of them. I know all Members of the Senate probably already have individually sent those messages to that family. I have said on other occasions in the Senate, that there is a lot of public debate that goes on that people see between Members of the Senate and they tend to think there is a lack of personal relationships in the Senate. Nothing could be further from the truth. When something happens to the family of a Member of the Senate, others here whose life's work brings us all together, care deeply. When I lost a daughter a few years ago, I recall Senator Hatch sending me a white Bible and coming to visit with me. Senator Byrd sent me one of the most beautiful pieces of prose I have ever received, and so many other Senators expressed their sympathies. That is the way it is in the Senate. I know Senator Kennedy and his family are going through a very difficult time, and our entire country reaches out to them now to express our deepest and most profound regrets and sympathies. __ The Honorable Richard J. Durbin of Illinois Mr. President, I want to say a word about the tragedy which has befallen the Kennedy family and the Bessette family, as we learn about the terrible circumstances involving the plane crash last Friday. When my wife came into Springfield, Illinois, Saturday morning and said that she had just heard on the radio that John Kennedy's plane was missing, our reaction was the same: Could this be another tragedy for this family? The Kennedy family means so much to America, so much to the Democratic party, and so much to many of us personally. As a young student just starting at Georgetown University in 1963, I arrived weeks before the assassination of President John Kennedy. I stood on Pennsylvania Avenue and watched the funeral cortege leave the White House for this Capitol Building, where President John Kennedy's body was held in reverence for visitation by the American people. Then I can recall, as a college student, sitting in this gallery and looking down on this floor to watch as Senator Ted Kennedy and Senator Robert Kennedy talked about the war in Vietnam, and in the gallery across the way were Ethel Kennedy and other members of the Kennedy family. Little did I dream that the day would come when I would serve with Senator Ted Kennedy and come to know him personally. Each of us who serves with him understands what an extraordinary person he is. He, in my mind, is the best legislator on the floor of the Senate. He is so well versed, so well prepared, and so hard-working, that he is an inspiration to all of us. We are reminded from time to time, as we were this weekend, that his obligations go beyond the Senate and certainly to a large family who looks to him for guidance and leadership in times of trial. This week, Ted Kennedy is bringing together the Kennedy family in mourning over the death of John Kennedy Jr., his wife Carolyn Bessette Kennedy, and her sister Lauren. Our hearts go out to him and the entire family and to the Bessette family as well. Those of us who remember that 1963 assassination graphically can recall exactly where we were at the moment that we heard President John Kennedy was shot. As we watched all the scenes unfold afterward, one of the most poignant was that of little John Kennedy saluting his father as the casket passed in front of the church. I guess we had always hoped that because Caroline and John Kennedy Jr. had endured this tragedy so early in life that God would find a special place for them and they would lead normal, happy, and secure lives. They certainly set out to do it and did it well, both of them. Then again, a tragedy such as this will occur and remind us again of our vulnerability and fragility as human beings. Our hearts and prayers go out to both families, and certainly to Senator Kennedy in his leadership role in the Kennedy family. We will be remembering them as this week passes and as we address our concern and sympathy on the floor of the Senate. __ The Honorable Russell D. Feingold of Wisconsin Mr. President, it is with deep sadness that I come to the floor today to speak of the tragedy that struck the Kennedy family last Friday night. I offer my condolences to the Kennedy family, and in particular to my friend and colleague, Senator Kennedy of Massachusetts, who has lost a beloved nephew. My thoughts and prayers are with the Kennedy and Bessette families as they struggle to cope with the loss of John F. Kennedy Jr., his wife Carolyn Bessette Kennedy, and her sister Lauren Bessette. While we as a Nation mourn the loss of a young man who had so much yet to offer the world, these families must suffer the private pain of the loss of their beloved brother or sisters, their children, their cousins, their friends. The late John F. Kennedy was a genuine inspiration to me and so many of my generation. I am grateful for the hope and the direction that President Kennedy gave so many of us when we were young, and I know that in his own way John F. Kennedy Jr., carried on his father's work to inspire young people to public service, or to otherwise serve the public good, throughout his lifetime. There can perhaps be no comparison to the contributions the Kennedy family has made to our country, or the sacrifices the family has endured, and sadly continues to endure with the death of John F. Kennedy Jr. Like his father and his uncle Bobby, John F. Kennedy Jr.'s life was cut tragically short, but like them he lived his life to the fullest, with the vigor and dedication that marks the Kennedy legacy. Recently I had the honor of receiving the Profile in Courage Award from the late President Kennedy's family, and had the pleasure of meeting and spending time with John F. Kennedy Jr. I was impressed by his kindness, his dignity, and the keen grasp of both politics and policy which he so often displayed as editor of George magazine. John reflected all the best hopes we have for our country, as did his father before him. In a speech I gave at that time, I chose one of the many beautiful memorials I have heard about President Kennedy to express my own feelings. The following passage from Romeo and Juliet was previously used by Robert F. Kennedy himself at the 1964 Democratic convention to memorialize his brother: and, when he shall die, take him and cut him out in little stars, And he will make the face of heaven so fine That all the world will be in love with night And pay no worship to the garish sun. These words both pained and consoled us as we remembered John F. Kennedy then, and they do the same today as we mourn the loss of his son, John F. Kennedy Jr. Mr. President, again I offer my condolences to all those who have been affected by this tragedy. I yield the floor. __ The Honorable Orrin G. Hatch of Utah Mr. President, I rise to express my heartfelt sympathy to our colleague, Senator Ted Kennedy, and the whole Kennedy family on the death of his nephew, John F. Kennedy Jr. John Kennedy Jr. was much admired by all Americans. The son of Camelot, he was aware of his own celebrity but did not flaunt it. His entry into politics--the Kennedy family business--would have been well paved for him, but he chose to go his own way. He succeeded in the extremely competitive publishing world. When failures in this industry outnumber successes, he created and built George into a popular and often insightful magazine. By all accounts JFK Jr. was a hands-on editor, had a fair hand, and had an eye for what would be interesting and fresh for American readers. His marriage to Carolyn Bessette took America's number one bachelor off the market. But, it also gave his life new dimension. We here in the Senate would be remiss if we did not also express our deepest sympathy to the Bessette family who lost two daughters in this terrible accident. As a father, this is a loss I cannot begin to imagine. It seems that no family should have to endure the level of tragedy that has befallen the Kennedys. I will say to the Senator from Massachusetts: America mourns with you and the Senate mourns with you, your family, and the Bessette family as well. Elaine and I want to express publicly what we have said privately, which is that you and your family and the Bessette family are in our thoughts and prayers. May God hold you in the palm of his hand. __ The Honorable Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey Mr. President, I want to take a few minutes to talk about the events that have weighed so heavily on all of us. Whether one knows Senator Kennedy well or casually through contact in the Senate, one cannot but have respect and admiration for the contribution the Kennedy family has made to our public well- being for so many years. That is why I am sure others share the same feeling of grief as I do, and others who know the Kennedy family well, at the loss of John F. Kennedy Jr. When the news came--and I was on my way to Martha's Vineyard--that the young Mr. Kennedy's airplane was missing, we all, I am sure, had the same reaction--let's pray that it is not true, that there is some information that will come out that will prove to be worry-unfounded. Unfortunately, our worst fears were realized. This day, apparently, the discovery has been made that confirms the death of John F. Kennedy Jr., 38 years of age. One of the remarkable things we saw in this young man was the way he treated his position in life, coming from a famous family, with all of the celebrity status one could imagine, from a family that has seen tragedy after tragedy after tragedy. I had an opportunity, a year ago Christmas week, to sit with Michael Kennedy and his young sons on the morning of the day he perished on the ski slopes below. We actually skied together for a while in the morning. I visited with his brother that night to see if I could be of any help to the family in managing the affairs they had to put in order. It was very sad. When John F. Kennedy Jr.'s life was just really beginning to flourish, it is hard to understand what it was that took this young man so full of life. The imagery of John F. Kennedy Jr., was the same imagery that we had, in a way, of John F. Kennedy Sr., President of the United States--attractive, intelligent, concerned about the well-being of our country, trying always to lift the opportunity and the spirits of those who in America depended so much on government and individual leadership. John F. Kennedy Jr., evoked the same imagery--of this attractive young man, of this bright, intelligent, caring person, eschewing the spotlight whenever he could, trying to become part of the society in which we all live. His early death will prevent what all of us believe was so much talent and so much future. Any of us who have worked with Ted Kennedy--and I have now for 16 years--only gains respect the longer we know Senator Kennedy. His accomplishments are legendary, but his commitment to people--rich, poor, those who have needed help--is without reservation. We have seen an energized Senator Kennedy over at his desk, stating the causes and cases he is concerned about. And to see them, the whole Kennedy family, put into this grief can only be imagined by those who have their family intact without the trail of misfortune that has followed the Kennedy family. So I just came in, for the Record, to make some comments to register my feelings, as I know so many others have, of grief for the families of John F. Kennedy Jr., his wife, and his sister-in-law, the Kennedys and the Bessettes. We hope his life will inspire us to give whatever we can by way of service to our country, to recognize the advantages we have as citizens of the United States, not to be discouraged by this untimely tragedy but, rather, to be motivated to try to do more. Mr. President, I hope we will reserve appropriate time, collectively, to acknowledge our share of feelings for the Kennedy family and the grief they are going through. I yield the floor. __ The Honorable Connie Mack of Florida Mr. President, I rise to speak for just a moment to express my profound sympathy and condolences to our colleague and friend, Senator Ted Kennedy, and the members of the Kennedy family, and to the Bessette family, as well. Although I know the pain of losing a loved one, I have little conception of the pain which Senator Kennedy and his family are feeling with the multiple losses of family members at such early stages in their lives, and under such tragic conditions. My heart is heavy with grief for the family, and my thoughts and prayers are with them. I can only pray that they realize and are comforted in some small manner by the love, affection, and support of the Members of this body, as well as people all across this Nation, for whom the Kennedy family is a symbol of courage, achievement, and service to mankind. __ The Honorable Barbara A. Mikulski of Maryland Mr. President, I rise with great sadness today to pay tribute to the lives of John F. Kennedy Jr., his wife Carolyn, and her sister Lauren Bessette. My thoughts and prayers are with these families, for at this very moment, as we know, they are at sea to bring these wonderful, outstanding young Americans to a final rest. We in the Senate, of course, feel very close to this tragedy because of our affection for our own colleague, Senator Ted Kennedy. We in Maryland feel very close to this family because we are the home to Eunice and Sarge Shriver, to Mark Shriver, who has taken his place in the House of Delegates, and our own Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, who lost a brother just a few months ago. As the eldest of the Kennedy cousins, she has endured much. She is living a life of service that certainly would make her father as proud as those of us in Maryland. The entire Kennedy family has suffered so much. They have also given so much. It is a family of war heroes, Senators, Congressmen, and a President of the United States. They are also defenders of the poor, environmentalists, educators, and artists. They fight to give every American an opportunity to build better lives for themselves and to build stronger communities. Many of us in this Senate were inspired to lives of public service because of John F. Kennedy. As a young social worker, I thought he was talking to me when he called our generation to service. When he said, ``Ask not what your country can do for you--but what you can do for your country,'' I believed it. I wanted to do something. That is why I committed myself even more forcefully to my own career in social work. He practiced passionate, active idealism that was different from anything we had seen before in politics. That is why we hoped his son would continue that legacy. In many ways he had already begun to do that. John Kennedy Jr., could have lived the life of the idle rich, but he did not. He worked several years as a District Attorney in New York, and recently he created a magazine to bring young people into politics who were indifferent to it. He endured intense press interest with grace and good humor. It seemed as if he understood his family was a part of the lives of all Americans. While we all know the Kennedys, we cannot forget the Bessette family. They are suffering unimaginable pain with the death of two of their daughters. Carolyn Bessette Kennedy also lived in the spotlight. She, too, handled the attention with grace and charm. She had the same passion for life as her husband. Her sister Lauren was also making her own career in investment banking. Wherever we turn, the Kennedys have touched America. We have been there for their hopes, their dreams, and their good days. We want our dear friend, Senator Kennedy, the entire Kennedy family, and the Bessettes to know they are not alone today. We mourn with them, and we thank them for their contributions to America and for their own call to duty and to public service. God bless them and God bless America that we have in our midst a great legacy. I thank the Chair. __ The Honorable Daniel Patrick Moynihan of New York Mr. President, it happens I was in the White House, in what was then Ralph Dungan's southwest office just down the hall from the Oval Office--where they were cleaning the carpet, the President's furniture having been moved to the outside corridor with his rocking chair atop the clutter--when word came from Dallas that the President was dead. A few moments later Hubert H. Humphrey burst in, embraced Dungan and let out: ``My God, what have they done to us.'' By ``they'' of course he meant the political right wing in Texas. Later we learned that the Dallas police had arrested a man associated with Fair Play for Cuba. What indeed had been done to us, what were we doing to ourselves? That evening a group of us who lived on Macomb Street, out Connecticut Avenue, drifted over to Mary McGrory's. We sat about, saying little. At length Mary, with the feeling only she can put into words, announced: ``We'll never laugh again.'' ``Heavens, Mary,'' I replied, ``we'll laugh again. It's just that we will never be young again.'' In this morning's Washington Post, her column ``A Death in the Family'' describes in poignant detail the history from then to now, now being of course the death of John F. Kennedy Jr. There was so much on our minds in those slow-paced days of mourning so many years ago. Now his son is gone, along with his wife Carolyn and his sister-in-law Lauren Bessette. I ask unanimous consent that her reflections be reprinted in the Record in full following my statement. There being no objection, the article ordered to be printed in the Record, as follows: [From The Washington Post, July 22, 1999] A Death in the Family (By Mary McGrory) To understand the round-the-clock coverage of John Kennedy's death, the unending talk about it, and the makeshift memorials, it helps to remember what the country felt about his parents. His father, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, handsome and dashing, came out of Boston insisting on being our first Catholic president--and was assassinated on Nov. 22, 1963. His beautiful mother, Jacqueline Bouvier, once dismissed as a social butterfly, stepped forward and held the country together. She arranged a funeral that was majestic and moved through it like a queen. She saw to every detail from the kilted Irish pipers to the eternal flame. When it was over, she summoned the most famous political scribe of his time, Theodore H. White, and put a name on her husband's time in office, Camelot. The country has been emotionally involved with the Kennedy's ever since. They are numerous, good looking and always up to something. They have provided a pageant of smiles, tears and scandals. When John Kennedy's single-engine plane, with him at the controls, fell off the radar at the Martha's Vineyard airport, the Nation once again went to its post by the television to keep vigil with the Kennedys. In the five days that followed, the dread and dismay were laced with indignation. This was not supposed to happen. This was entirely gratuitous. The crown prince had been exempt from ``the curse of the Kennedys''--a phrase coined by Uncle Teddy during the Chappaquiddick crisis. Had not Jackie Kennedy sequestered her children from the turbulence at the Kennedy compound in Hyannis Port, as Bobby Kennedy's fatherless sons wrestled with various demons? She took John and Caroline over the water to Martha's Vineyard. John had not followed in his father's footsteps. He was his mother's son. She brought him up not to be a Kennedy, but to be himself. He shared her detachment about politics. When asked a while back how, in the light of his father's posthumously revealed promiscuity, Jack Kennedy would have tolerated today's fierce press scrutiny, John Kennedy said coolly he thought his father might have chosen to go into another line of work. John Kennedy died like his father violently and too soon. His blond wife, Carolyn Bessette, and his sister-in-law Lauren Bessette died with him. At 38, he left more unfulfilled promise than performance. He was strikingly handsome and unexpectedly nice for one of his looks and station. He was courteous to all, even the paparazzi who dogged him from the age of 3 when he broke the Nation's heart by saluting his father's coffin. The tabs called him ``The Hunk'' and People magazine said he was ``the sexiest man alive.'' If the grief seems disproportionate to his life, it is easily explained. He was measured by who he was, not what he did. His mother vetoed his first choice of a career, the theater. He went into the law, but not for long. He founded a magazine he called ``George.'' It was to be a glossy, trendy monthly that treated politics as entertainment. He courted publicity for ``George'' by sometimes doing odd things: He posed nude for an illustration to accompany a critique of his Kennedy cousins' behavior. More recently, he visited Mike Tyson, the convicted rapist, in prison; he invited pornographer Larry Flynt to the White House correspondents' dinner. Like his mother, he never explained his actions. He was a free spirit. His father, despite his private excesses, was decorous in his public life, having a politician's perpetual concern about what the neighbors will think. Jack Kennedy was witty, sometimes in the mordant Irish way; his son was whimsical. Politics does not allow for whimsy. John's love life was of aching, international interest. He courted a string of gorgeous girls and then married one. He married willowy Carolyn Bessette at a secret wedding on an island off Georgia. He was terribly proud of his coup against the press. He released one picture. It was of him kissing his bride's hand. It was drop-dead romantic. The country spent the last weekend soaking up every detail, watching hour after hour of Jack's funeral, Bobby's funeral, touch football, prayers at Arlington. The context was pure, incredible Kennedy. The clan had gathered at Hyannis Port to celebrate the wedding of Rory Kennedy. A huge tent had been set up on Ethel's lawn. It was the one mercy of the grim weekend. The Kennedys, who derive such solace from each other, were together. The wedding was postponed. The family mourned. Washington talked of nothing else. Arguments broke out over ``the curse of the Kennedys''--was it really the rashness of its members? ``Where was God in all this?'' one man demanded to know at a subdued Saturday party. All agreed on one point: It was a shame. Mr. President, of the half-dozen great journalists who wrote of the Kennedy era, as we think of that Presidency, none was closer to those involved, where they had come from, who they were, who they wished to be than Martin F. Nolan of The Boston Globe. He has done so once again, in a moving reflection of the deaths of John F. Kennedy Jr., his wife and her sister, entitled ``Life Goes On, But It'll Never Be the Same.'' I ask unanimous consent that his reflections be printed in the Congressional Record. There being no objection, the material was ordered to be printed in the Record, as follows: [From The Boston Globe] Life Goes On, But It'll Never Be the Same (By Martin F. Nolan) When Sander Vanocur, the former NBC correspondent, first heard the news, he recalled what John O'Hara, the Irish- American novelist, said on a hot July day in 1937. ``They tell me that George Gershwin is suddenly dead at 38. That's what they tell me, but I don't have to believe it if I don't want to.'' The composer and songwriter died of a brain tumor, a celebrity death which, like many, caused shock, disbelief, and grief among thousands, even millions, who had never met him. The death of John F. Kennedy Jr. is different because of Americans' attitude about history. However imperfectly, they knew that the young man who perished with his wife and sister- in-law while approaching Martha's Vineyard was ``a part of history.'' The prayers, the sadness, the flowers in TriBeCa [an area of Manhattan called the Triangle Below Canal Street] all flow to a clan whose rise to glory began on the margins of American society, an underdog dynasty. John F. Kennedy Jr. was born 17 days after his father became the first Roman Catholic president amid the fears of millions that the White House would be an outpost of the Vatican. Friday, as his life is celebrated at a Mass at St. Thomas More Church in New York City, anti- Catholicism has almost vanished in America. The Kennedy saga covers most of the century. John F. ``Honey Fitz'' Fitzgerald was elected to the US House of Representatives in 1894. One of his grandsons, John, became president; two more, Edward and Robert, became senators; and two of his great-grandsons, Joseph and Patrick, also have served in the House. A half-dozen Frelinghuysens from New Jersey have served in Congress, but only four from another Dutch dynasty, the Roosevelts. The grandchildren of Franklin Delano Roosevelt have known little political fame. The future has always been Kennedy country and the greatest Kennedy success could lie among its women. Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg has been a key decision maker on many matters, including her father's library. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, the lieutenant governor of Maryland, may possess as much charm and savvy as her father, Robert, her uncles and cousins, and even her grandfather. The much-photographed Kennedys have been reviled and revered. In a society anxious about ``family values,'' theirs has been on exuberant display for four decades, along with those of the Bouviers, Shakels, Bennetts, Smiths, Lawfords, and Shrivers. (A large family means many in-laws.) In a nation of small families, size matters. When Edward Kennedy barely escaped death in the crash of a small plane in 1964, his brother Robert visited him and remarked in that ruefully wry Kennedyesque way, ``I guess the reason my mother and father had so many children was that some of them would survive.'' Edward Kennedy, the ninth of nine, is, at 67, the sole surviving son, the patriarch, and an all-too-accomplished eulogist. The Kennedys' famous fatalism was once expressed by President Kennedy's citation of a French fisherman's prayer: ``Oh God, thy sea is so great and my boat is so small.'' Thursday's burial was private and at sea off Cape Cod, that slip of land of which Henry David Thoreau said in 1865: ``A man may stand there and put all America behind him.'' The America John F. Kennedy Jr. leaves behind is one in which the median age is younger than his at his death. The vast majority of his fellow citizens have no contemporary memory of his father's violent death in 1963 nor that of his uncle in 1968. The grief of the Kennedys has been vivid in the Nation's tribal memory as only a photograph or a video image, but no less vivid for being so. Stanley Tretick, who died last week at 77, was a photographer for Look magazine. One of his most famous pictures was of the President Kennedy's young son climbing through a desk in the Oval Office. ``The Kennedys are great, but you have to do things their way,'' Tretick once said. The Kennedys stage-managed their own public image in the days before 24-hour cable channels and the vast hordes of paparazzi that their fame and glamour enticed. The Hyannis Port family compound this week has been a logo for media fascination with one family's grief. The old Latin liturgy once included an Augustinian admonition, ``Vita mutatur non tollitur''--``Life is changed not taken away.'' That belief sustains those of faith, in addition, there's always the Irish wake tradition of stories and memories, happy and sad. Arthur N. Schlessinger Jr. wrote in ``A Thousand Days'' of how a young assistant secretary of labor, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, reacted to President Kennedy's death. ``I don't think there's any point in being Irish if you don't know that the world is going to break your heart eventually. I guess that we thought we had a little more time,'' Moynihan said. ``Mary McGrory said to me that we'll never laugh again. And I said, `Heavens, Mary. We'll laugh again. It's just that we'll never be young again.' '' Across America and the world, many people feel a lot less young than they did a week ago. __ The Honorable Harry Reid of Nevada Mr. President, for several days, we have waited anxiously for evidence of news I did not want to believe. I did not want to believe that tragedy could come again to the Kennedy family. I did not want to believe that the Bessette family could lose two beautiful daughters in one tragic accident. But as of yesterday afternoon, I was confronted with reality. I am profoundly saddened by the tragic death of John F. Kennedy Jr. and his wife Carolyn Bessette Kennedy, and her sister Lauren. My relationship with President Kennedy goes back almost 40 years. In 1960, I formed the first Young Democrats organization at Utah State University and worked hard as a young college student for the election of President John F. Kennedy. On the wall in my Senate office, I have a letter from Senator Kennedy written a few weeks before his inauguration as President in 1961. That letter is a thoughtful and considerate note thanking me for my efforts as a campus organizer. As a young law student in Washington, I worked at night as a Capitol Police Officer. On more than one occasion, I remember President Kennedy's visit to the Capitol. In fact, in my capacity as a police officer, I walked past President Kennedy's casket while it laid in state in the Capitol Rotunda. For three generations, the Kennedy family has contributed much to the political and cultural life of our Nation. Three members of the Kennedy family have served the Nation as U.S. Senators, and other members have served in the U.S. House of Representatives, the Ambassadorial Corp and other important positions of state. They also serve as leaders, in business, and in the world of cultural affairs. Historians will one day write that the Kennedy family is the most remarkable family in our Nation's history. They have endured tragedy after tragedy. But despite adversity, this family has persevered and found the will and strength to make our Nation a better place. Since the presidency of John F. Kennedy, the Kennedy family has become part of the American family. For us in government, the Kennedy family is synonymous with the finest in American politics. They inspire us to dream; they teach us to enjoy life; they make us feel noble. John F. Kennedy Jr. had large shoes to fill as the son of a great President and a beautiful, elegant, and strong mother. While John F. Kennedy Jr. was born into the privilege and the fame of his family, he handled it better than anyone I know. His dignity, his sense of style, his connection to ordinary people was unsurpassed. Finally, I admire the strength and courage of my friend and colleague, Senator Ted Kennedy. Senator Kennedy is the patriarch of this great family. He has served the Nation and the people of Massachusetts with distinction in the U.S. Senate for almost four decades and the people of Massachusetts have repeatedly shown their gratitude for his service. Senator Kennedy has given much to this country and yet he has never forgotten the legacy of his distinguished family. To Senator Kennedy, to the entire Kennedy family, and to the Bessette family, I extend my condolences. __ The Honorable Paul S. Sarbanes of Maryland Mr. President, I commend my very able colleague from Illinois for his very eloquent remarks about this tragedy, and I associate myself with his remarks. Our hearts do go out to both families, the Kennedy family and the Bessette family. The Bessette family has lost two children. My State has been fortunate to be blessed by the extraordinary leadership of the next generation of the Kennedy family in terms of Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, who now serves as our lieutenant governor. So I have a direct sense of the strong responsibility of dedicated public service which has marked this family from the very beginning. All of us are deeply struck by this tragedy. Our hearts reach out to the families. We extend them our very heartfelt sympathies. We feel very deeply about our colleague, Senator Kennedy, who, of course, has assumed the family leadership responsibilities. We have to press on, but it really comes as a very saddening tragedy for all of us. I thank my colleague for yielding. __ The Honorable Charles Schumer of New York Mr. President, our State of New York has lost three of its finest citizens. I want to add my voice to the condolences to John Kennedy's sister Caroline, to his entire family, and to his wife's family, as well, for their double loss. Anyone who knew these three people knew they were the finest of New Yorkers and the finest of Americans. They were decent people; they were concerned people; they were people who cared about average folks. As was noted, John, in particular, would never go by somebody and make them feel they were less significant than he was, despite his enormous wealth, attractiveness, good looks, his grace, and everything else about him. He and his wife were a man and woman of grace. I am told that her sister was as well, although I did not know her. So we in New York particularly mourn our loss. John had become a real New Yorker, and the Bessette girls always were. There is nothing we can do but pray that they have met their final reward, and that the wounds that are so deep in their families, with God's help, heal quickly. __ The Honorable Fred Thompson of Tennessee I thank the Chair. I join in the expressions of my colleagues in expressing my profound sadness and regret at the fate that has befallen our colleague and members of his and the Bessette family. __ The Honorable Strom Thurmond of South Carolina Mr. President, I rise today to join my colleagues in expressing grief over the passing of John F. Kennedy Jr., his wife Carolyn Bessette Kennedy, and Lauren Bessette; as well as extending condolences to the Kennedy and Bessette families over their losses. It is difficult to express the sense of tragedy and loss that all of us feel over the passing of these three young, dynamic, and charismatic individuals. Clearly, John F. Kennedy Jr. captured the hearts and imagination of millions of Americans, and his untimely and violent end has saddened all those who felt some sort of connection to this promising and handsome young man. Certainly the tremendous outpouring of sympathetic gestures we are witnessing in Massachusetts, New York, and here in Washington stand as testament to the high regard in which he was held. To be frank, I did not know John F. Kennedy Jr. well, though I have certainly been well acquainted with his family through the years. Here in the United States Senate, I have had the distinct pleasure and honor of serving with his father and both his uncles; and in years past, I worked closely with Representative Joe Kennedy on an issue of great mutual concern. Clearly this is a family that values public service and has sought to make a contribution to the Nation through policy, politics, and activism. The passion and intensity which the Kennedys--particularly John, Bobby, and Ted--brought to Washington and directed toward their policy goals are commendable and enviable. Few people have approached their careers in government with the same vigor and enthusiasm than have the members of the Kennedy family. Though John F. Kennedy Jr. had not entered politics, he was someone who shared his family's desire to make a difference. He was involved in any number of philanthropic and charitable undertakings, and typical of a family that seeks to help others, he was personally involved in these endeavors. His reputation was of a sincere, kind, and high minded man. There is little doubt that had John F. Kennedy Jr. decided to follow the path that his father, uncle, and cousins had taken and sought elected office, he would have had a bright political future and would have made an even greater mark on society and history. There is great sadness in the fact that this tragedy not only snuffed out the promising light of John F. Kennedy Jr., but took the lives of his wife and sister-in-law as well. It is impossible to comprehend how fate could be so cruel to these families, for these young individuals deserved to enjoy long and rich lives. Certainly, this tragedy is only intensified for the Bessettes who lost two daughters suddenly and unexpectedly, and it is impossible for any of us to truly know the grief they are feeling. Hopefully with time, they will come to some sort of peace and understanding with this inexplicable event. Earlier today, the ashes of John F. Kennedy Jr., his wife, and sister-in-law were committed to the sea and a sad chapter of American history is drawn to a close. To our friend and colleague, Senator Ted Kennedy, we extend our deepest condolences on the loss of your nephew and we commend you on your stoicism in exercising your responsibilities as the patriarch of your family. This was an unenviable task, yet one you carried out with dignity, strength, and reserve. Coming to terms with death is never an easy or pleasant task, but I have always found that it is best to remember a person for the things he or she did during their life, keep that person in your heart and mind, and to try and honor their memory in your actions. If people follow this course with John F. Kennedy Jr., I think that they will remember a man who tried to make a difference with his life, and hopefully they will be inspired to emulate his commitment to public service. __ The Honorable John W. Warner of Virginia Mr. President, I wish to speak with regard to the feelings in my heart and in the hearts of my daughter Mary, my daughter Virginia, and my son John on behalf of the Kennedy family. My daughter Mary was a member of the play group at the White House formed by the President and his lovely wife Jacqueline Kennedy for their daughter Caroline and, my recollection is, three or four others of the same age. They were perhaps among the most photographed young people in America at that time. Our family cherishes the pictures with Caroline and in some John-John was there. It was just a warm experience for these youngsters to start their life. Jacqueline Kennedy was so gracious to all of us in our family. I had known Mrs. Kennedy when I was, my recollection is, in my early twenties, and we were in the same group of young people who mingled together at various events in those days. I remember the absolute startling beauty of that magnificent woman. We remained friends throughout her life. She and the President briefly had a farm in Virginia which abutted on the farm that my then-wife Catherine and I had, and I frequently saw her at sporting events. The families were intertwined at a very young age. Previously, at the University of Virginia Law School, while my period at that school was interrupted by service in the Marines during the Korean war, Bobby Kennedy was there, and we overlapped for a period of time. I remember participating in some of the touch football games and getting my first insight into that extraordinary family. My daughter Virginia knew John-John quite well. In past years, prior to marriage, they were in the same group that often attended events together. This has left a very deep and sad feeling in the hearts of my children, and I know they would want their deepest sympathy conveyed to the members of the family. I do that tonight, being privileged to be on the floor of the Senate and talking about this most distinguished family. I met President Kennedy on several occasions. I knew him, as a matter of fact, when he was a Senator. I remember very well one night going to a television studio with him and some other people. I cannot recall exactly what the show was, but that night, for various reasons, is tucked away in my memory. Then, of course, in the campaign of 1960, I was the advance man for President Nixon; and Bobby Kennedy was the advance man for his brother. We had frequent but always pleasant and cordial meetings on the campaign trail of 1960. But the main purpose of my taking the floor is to express, on behalf of my children, our profound sorrow for this tragic event, and how we are all deprived of what I think in our hearts we believe would have been a great future for this young man, had the Lord seen fit to have him remain with us. He was destined to go on to greatness, and we, as a Nation, have been deprived. But we accept the Lord's will in this case. All that could be done was done, primarily by the Coast Guard, the Navy, the National Transportation Safety Board, and others. I think they are worthy of commendation for their services. Our distinguished colleague, Senator Kennedy, I know, having spoken with him, was looking forward to this wedding. So often this family has come together in hours of tragedy, but this wedding was to be an hour of pure joy. He looked forward to it with expectation. But now, of course, that has to be postponed, I hope for a brief period. But I remember how hard the Senator worked on the Patients' Bill of Rights. I voted against him on every vote except one, and that has often been the case in my 21 years in the Senate serving with my friend. And we have had many opportunities to work together on various things. He is a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, of which I am privileged to be chairman. When I was ranking Member on the Seapower Subcommittee, he was chairman; and then for a brief period, when I was chairman of the Seapower Subcommittee, he was ranking Member. But I remember how hard he worked last week. His heart was in that bill regarding the health of the citizens of our Nation. It was just another chapter in his long and distinguished career in the Senate. I believe on both sides of the aisle he is regarded as one of the hardest working, most conscientious Members of the Senate. We have nothing but profound respect for him and the manner in which he, as one of the heads of this distinguished family, has worked to bring this family once again to the realization of a loss that they must accept. Mr. President, we conclude today's proceedings by several of us speaking on this. We do so from the heart and convey our prayers and sympathy to this family. __ The Honorable Paul Wellstone of Minnesota Mr. President, I cannot add to the words of Senator Dodd. I thank him for what he said on the floor of the Senate. And I say to him that what he said represents how I feel as a Senator from Minnesota. I yield the floor. TRIBUTES BY REPRESENTATIVES The Honorable Eliot L. Engel of New York Mr. Speaker, I just wanted to take this opportunity to express my thoughts and prayers to the Kennedy and Bessette families during this time of terrible tragedy. As a New Yorker, I can tell my colleagues that John F. Kennedy Jr. played a special role in our city. The way he conducted himself through the years with grace and dignity is something that we shall always remember. Who can ever forget the little boy, John-John, who saluted his father's casket on his third birthday. I just felt that, at this time, I wanted to express the feelings of millions upon millions of Americans who really extend our grief and wishes and sadness to both the Kennedy and Bessette families. The Kennedy family has given so much to this country. It is very difficult for all of us during this time. I know that I express the feelings of all my colleagues on both sides of the aisle, and I just felt it was very appropriate at this time to extend my heart and my hand to both families during this time of grief. STATEMENTS FROM THE WHITE HOUSE DURING THE SEARCH OPERATIONS President William J. Clinton As the search continues, I want to express our family's support, and offer our prayers and those of all Americans for John Kennedy Jr.; his wife, Carolyn; her sister, Lauren; and to their fine families. I also want to thank the Coast Guard and all those who have worked so hard in this endeavor. For more than 40 years now, the Kennedy family has inspired Americans to public service, strengthened our faith in the future, and moved our nation forward. Through it all they have suffered much, and given more. In recent years, in particular, John Kennedy Jr. and Carolyn have captured our imagination and won our affection. I will always be grateful for their kindnesses to Hillary and Chelsea and me. At this difficult moment, we hope the families of these three fine young people will feel the strength of God, the love of their friends, and the prayers of their fellow citizens. __ Vice President Albert Gore Jr. I want to begin with a moment of prayer for John Kennedy Jr., for his wife Carolyn, and for her sister Lauren--we hope they are returned to us safely and soon. John Kennedy Jr. is an extraordinary young man, at the high noon of his life, who offers the promise of contributing so much more to our country. At the age of three, he was the most famous person in the world because with his innocent and brave young heart, he helped the nation and the world endure some of the hardest hours of our history. He has carried his legend with enormous grace--and with a commitment to live up to his father's legacy and his mother's love. America could use his grace and endurance right now. READINGS AND TRIBUTES FROM MEMORIAL SERVICE Church of St. Thomas More New York City July 23, 1999 Senator Edward M. Kennedy Thank you, President and Mrs. Clinton and Chelsea, for being here today. You've shown extraordinary kindness throughout the course of this week. Once, when they asked John what he would do if he went into politics and was elected President, he said: ``I guess the first thing is call up Uncle Teddy and gloat.'' I loved that. It was so like his father. From the first day of his life, John seemed to belong not only to our family, but to the American family. The whole world knew his name before he did. A famous photograph showed John racing across the lawn as his father landed in the White House helicopter and swept up John in his arms. When my brother saw that photo, he exclaimed, ``Every mother in the United States is saying, `Isn't it wonderful to see that love between a son and his father, the way that John races to be with his father.' Little do they know--that son would have raced right by his father to get to that helicopter.'' But John was so much more than those long ago images emblazoned in our minds. He was a boy who grew into a man with a zest for life and a love of adventure. He was a pied piper who brought us all along. He was blessed with a father and mother who never thought anything mattered more than their children. When they left the White House, Jackie's soft and gentle voice and unbreakable strength of spirit guided him surely and securely to the future. He had a legacy, and he learned to treasure it. He was part of a legend, and he learned to live with it. Above all, Jackie gave him a place to be himself, to grow up, to laugh and cry, to dream and strive on his own. John learned that lesson well. He had amazing grace. He accepted who he was, but he cared more about what he could and should become. He saw things that could be lost in the glare of the spotlight. And he could laugh at the absurdity of too much pomp and circumstance. He loved to travel across this City by subway, bicycle and roller blade. He lived as if he were unrecognizable--although he was known by everyone he encountered. He always introduced himself, rather than take anything for granted. He drove his own car and flew his own plane, which is how he wanted it. He was the king of his domain. He thought politics should be an integral part of our popular culture, and that popular culture should be an integral part of politics. He transformed that belief into the creation of George. John shaped and honed a fresh, often irreverent journal. His new political magazine attracted a new generation, many of whom had never read about politics before. John also brought to George a wit that was quick and sure. The premier issue of George caused a stir with a cover photograph of Cindy Crawford dressed as George Washington with a bare belly button. The ``Reliable Source'' in the Washington Post printed a mock cover of George showing not Cindy Crawford, but me dressed as George Washington, with my belly button exposed. I suggested to John that perhaps I should have been the model for the first cover of his magazine. Without missing a beat, John told me that he stood by his original editorial decision. John brought this same playful wit to other aspects of his life. He campaigned for me during my 1994 election and always caused a stir when he arrived in Massachusetts. Before one of his trips to Boston, John told the campaign he was bringing along a companion, but would need only one hotel room. Interested, but discreet, a senior campaign worker picked John up at the airport and prepared to handle any media barrage that might accompany John's arrival with his mystery companion. John landed with the companion alright--an enormous German shepherd dog named Sam he had just rescued from the pound. He loved to talk about the expression on the campaign worker's face and the reaction of the clerk at the Charles Hotel when John and Sam checked in. I think now not only of these wonderful adventures, but of the kind of person John was. He was the son who quietly gave extraordinary time and ideas to the Institute of Politics at Harvard that bears his father's name. He brought to the Institute his distinctive insight that politics could have a broader appeal, that it was not just about elections, but about the larger forces that shape our whole society. John was also the son who was once protected by his mother. He went on to become her pride--and then her protector in her final days. He was the Kennedy who loved us all, but who especially cherished his sister Caroline, celebrated her brilliance, and took strength and joy from their lifelong mutual admiration society. And for a thousand days, he was a husband who adored the wife who became his perfect soul-mate. John's father taught us all to reach for the moon and the stars. John did that in all he did--and he found his shining star when he married Carolyn Bessette. How often our family will think of the two of them, cuddling affectionately on a boat--surrounded by family--aunts, uncles, Caroline and Ed and their children, Rose, Tatiana, and Jack, Kennedy cousins, Radziwill cousins, Shriver cousins, Smith cousins, Lawford cousins--as we sailed Nantucket Sound. Then we would come home--and before dinner, on the lawn where his father had played, John would lead a spirited game of touch football--and his beautiful young wife, the new pride of the Kennedys, would cheer for John's team and delight her nieces and nephews with her somersaults. We loved Carolyn. She and her sister Lauren were young extraordinary women of high accomplishment--and their own limitless possibilities. We mourn their loss and honor their lives. The Bessette and Freeman families will always be part of ours. John was a serious man who brightened our lives with his smile and his grace. He was a son of privilege who founded a program called ``Reaching Up,'' to train better care-givers for the mentally disabled. He joined Wall Street executives on the Robin Hood Foundation to help the city's impoverished children. And he did it all so quietly, without ever calling attention to himself. John was one of Jackie's two miracles. He was still becoming the person he would be, and doing it by the beat of his own drummer. He had only just begun. There was in him a great promise of things to come. The Irish Ambassador recited a poem to John's father and mother soon after John was born. I can hear it again now, at this different and difficult moment: We wish to the new child A heart that can be beguiled By a flower That the wind lifts As it passes. If the storms break for him May the trees shake for him Their blossoms down. In the night that he is troubled, May a friend wake for him, So that his time be doubled, And at the end of all loving and love, May the Man above Give him a crown. We thank the millions who have rained blossoms down on John's memory. He and his bride have gone to be with his mother and father, where there will never be an end to love. He was lost on that troubled night--but we will always wake for him, so that his time, which was not doubled, but cut in half, will live forever in our memory, and in our beguiled and broken hearts. We dared to think, in that other Irish phrase, that this John Kennedy would live to comb grey hair, with his beloved Carolyn by his side. But like his father, he had every gift but length of years. We who have loved him from the day he was born, and watched the remarkable man he became, now bid him farewell. God bless you, John and Carolyn. We love you, and we always will. __ Reading by Anne Freeman Mother of Carolyn Bessette Kennedy The following is an excerpt from ``Facts of Faith'' by Henry Scott Holland. Death is nothing at all. It does not count. I have only slipped away into the next room. Nothing has happened. Everything remains exactly as it was. I am I, and you are you, and the old life that we lived so fondly together is untouched, unchanged. Whatever we were to each other, that we are still. Call me by the old familiar name. Speak of me in the easy way which you always used. Put no difference into your tone. Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow. Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes that we enjoyed together. Play, smile, think of me, pray for me. Let my name be ever the household word that it always was. Let it be spoken without an effort, without the ghost of a shadow upon it. Life means all that it ever meant. It is the same as it ever was. There is absolute and unbroken continuity. What is this death but a negligible accident? Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight? I am but waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near, just around the corner. All is well. Nothing is hurt; nothing is lost. One brief moment and all will be as it was before. How we shall laugh at the trouble of parting when we meet again! __ Reading by Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg The following lines are from Prospero's speech in Act IV, Scene 1 of Shakespeare's ``The Tempest.'' Our revels now are ended. These our actors, As I foretold you, were all spirits, and Are melted into air, into thin air: And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, The cloud-capp'd towers, the gorgeous palaces, The solemn temples, the great globe itself, Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff As dreams are made on; and our little life Is rounded with a sleep.
COMMENTARY AND TRIBUTES [From The Los Angeles Times, July 18, 1999] In His Own Words ``My family is extremely close. And contrary to any general opinion on the matter, if there is one, my mother has never had an agenda for me or my sister. That's probably why we're all so close and have had a relatively normal life. Not being a Kennedy, she could recognize both the perils and the positive aspects. One thing she has done is kept the memory and the character of our father very vivid for us.'' --Vogue Magazine, June 1993 ``It's obviously something people ask me occasionally, and having grown up with it, I have to admit it [a political career] is something I consider a lot. I frankly feel there are many opportunities and avenues outside of elective office to become involved in issues, issues that have the same broad scope that government or elected office provides you. Once you run for office, you're in it. Sort of like going into the military--you'd better be damn sure that it is what you want to do and that the rest of your life is set up to accommodate that. It takes a certain toll on your personality, and on your family life. I've seen it personally.'' --Vogue, 1993 ``It's hard for me to talk about a legacy or a mystique. It's my family. It's my mother. It's my sister. It's my father. We're a family like any other. We look out for one another. The fact that there have been difficulties and hardships, or obstacles, makes us closer.'' --Vogue, 1993 ``It was important to me to go outside the [political] arena for a number of reasons. I think everyone needs to feel that they've created something that was their own, on their own terms.'' --on founding George Magazine; USA Today, 1998 ``I'd like to see [the Profile in Courage Award] become what the Oscars are to the film industry or the Nobel Prize to peace and economics--the single award that recognizes achievement and acts of courage in public life.'' --on the award founded by him and his sister, Caroline; Vogue, 1993 Reactions ``He has carried his legend with enormous grace and a commitment to live up to his father's legacy and his mother's love. . . . One cannot help but reflect that the Kennedy family has given more to our country than any family should have to do. But our country is so much better because of the gifts that they have given.'' --Vice President Al Gore ``Nothing about our faith makes us pain-proof. It does hurt. It does make us cry. And we must dry our eyes and continue our work until our time is finished.'' --The Rev. Jesse Jackson ``On this particular day, our hearts go out to the family who has started so much, achieved so much, suffered and sacrificed so much and now has even further uncertainty.'' --Astronaut Edwin G. `Buzz' Aldrin Jr. ``There's a certain amount of disbelief. It brings back memories of the many tragedies of the Kennedy family. They've represented dreams, hopes for our whole country.'' --Rep. Nick Lampson (D-Texas) __ [From Newsday, July 18, 1999] A Prince, But Also a Populist (By Fred Bruning & Jessica Kowal) Looks, glamor, money and a name that resonates with Americans like few others--John F. Kennedy Jr. has led a remarkable life. But his family--influential and politically powerful--long has seemed star-crossed, too. Privilege and status could not protect the Kennedys from a succession of numbing setbacks, and, as fears mounted yesterday that Kennedy had been lost in an air crash, it appeared calamity may have struck the clan again. ``There is a sense of this terrible, continuing tragedy--a tragedy without end,'' said author David Halberstam, who chronicled the presidency of John F. Kennedy in an acclaimed 1972 book, ``The Best and The Brightest.'' ``When I heard (the report), I thought, `Oh, God, not again.' '' Some may wonder why a young man from a family that has endured two assassinations, catastrophic illness and accidental death, would risk a flight to Martha's Vineyard in a single- engine plane with his wife, Carolyn Bessette Kennedy, 33, and her sister, but Kennedy, 38, was known as a high-spirited fellow who rarely surrendered to fear. Kennedy, president and editor in chief of the political magazine George, loved flying and said in interviews that the skies afforded him refuge he could not find below. He earned a private pilot's license and recently purchased the Piper aircraft in which he and his party last were seen. Not only did Kennedy enjoy flying, he also operated a rig known as a power parachute, described by one writer as a Go-Kart with a propeller. After his first try with the parachute, Kennedy was called a ``natural'' by his instructor. An early glimpse of Kennedy's pluck came on his third birthday--an event that turned out to be one not of joy but mesmerizing sadness. His father, President John F. Kennedy, had been assassinated in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963. At a state funeral in Washington three days later, John Jr., his sister, Caroline, and mother, Jacqueline, watched as the president's casket passed before St. Matthew's Cathedral. Dressed in a blue coat and short pants, the little boy then known as John-John seemed intrigued by the somber spectacle. Then, he saluted the horse-drawn caisson bearing the body--a gesture that for many symbolized the nation's heartbreak and the courage of the Kennedy family. Five years later, a killer in Los Angeles shot the president's brother Robert F. Kennedy, a U.S. senator from New York seeking the 1968 Democratic presidential nomination. The country reeled, and the Kennedy family mourned another loss. Robert Kennedy had served as a father figure for Caroline and John and was a favorite of the children. In a 1995 television interview, Kennedy told CNN's Larry King that his memories of his father were ``great,'' though not specific. On the other hand, Kennedy said, he remembered Bobby well. ``He was a very vivid character.'' Long before the flight to Martha's Vineyard, John Kennedy Jr. had become a vivid character, too. So handsome that People Magazine named him the ``sexiest man alive'' in 1988, Kennedy was on everyone's list of most eligible bachelors--a man who seemed to combine the charm and elegance of his mother and father, who glided as easily through cocktail party crowds as he slalomed through the streets of New York on Rollerblades, who was known to friends as an upbeat, ``regular'' New Yorker who often took the subway to work and skimmed Frisbees in the park. ``His glamor was in the fact that he was able to come across as a down-to-earth guy with this unbelievable power of the legacy of the Kennedy name,'' said Katherine Betts, recently named editor of Harper's Bazaar Magazine. Kennedy was a magnet for paparazzi and gossip columnists and had his share of rough moments as a public personality. Perhaps none was more distressing than when Kennedy, a lawyer, twice failed his bar exam in New York. ``Hunk Flunks,'' said a tabloid headline. Kennedy nailed the test on the third try and, of course, that was big news, too. If Kennedy was haunted by the family's history of pain or the slayings of his father and uncle, he kept those feelings private. Earlier this year, investigators discussed the possibility of further tests on the bullets that killed John F. Kennedy. Asked what reaction John Kennedy Jr. might have, an associate told Newsday: ``He won't have any reaction. He doesn't really talk about the assassination at all.'' Great personality, easygoing attitude, that sensationally straight jawline and dreamy smile--Kennedy (6-foot-1, 190 pounds) rarely had trouble finding a date. He was linked to a number of young women--the actress Darryl Hannah, among them-- but finally found true love when he met Bessette, a publicist for designer Calvin Klein and the step-daughter of a Greenwich, Conn., physician. Fearing their marriage would stir a media maelstrom, Kennedy and Bessette wed secretly in 1996 on Cumberland Island, Ga., and then scooted to Turkey for a honeymoon. Arriving back in New York, Kennedy pleaded with the media to give his new bride a break--to back off, please, just a little. ``I ask that you give Carolyn all the privacy and room you can,'' he said to reporters waiting outside their apartment. It may have been a reasonable request, but there wasn't much chance the media would vanish. An editor at the National Enquirer tabloid described Kennedy and Bessette as the ``No. 1 couple in America''--for sure, the closest thing to American royalty since Kennedy's mother and father briefly had reigned. The young people may have been reluctant stars in the nation's imperial soap opera, but the audience was eager for news--any news. Despite their revolutionary past, Americans were proving again they longed for the pomp and circumstance of sovereignty. ``We create royalty in various ways--celluloid, financially, business tycoons--but none is quite as splendid as political royalty, and that is the role the Kennedys have played,'' said Ray Browne, professor emeritus in the department of popular culture at Bowling Green State University in Ohio. Kennedy seemed to have little interest in serving as a surrogate sovereign. ``John is a very populist guy,'' said a friend quoted in the Los Angeles Times. ``He has a very sincere deep streak of that in him.'' But he was a Kennedy, prince of Camelot, son of John and Jacqueline. For many, the memories remain magic, and John-John was the last link to a storied time. John Fitzgerald Kennedy Jr. was born Nov. 25, 1960, at Georgetown University Hospital in Washington, three weeks after his father was elected president of the United States. The first child born to a president-elect, John Jr. started life as a celebrity. Newsreel footage of John-John--his parents called him John; the press gave him his nickname--and sister Caroline further endeared the children to the country. ``As a nation, we've grown up with him,'' said Halberstam of Kennedy. In 1963, the Kennedys lost a baby, Patrick Bouvier Kennedy, who was born prematurely and died two days later. The infant suffered from hyaline membrane disease, a lung condition. Kennedy was born with the same illness but overcame it and became a spirited little boy who, as time went by, took particular pleasure in eluding the Secret Service agents assigned to the Kennedys for protection. After President Kennedy's death, the children moved with their mother to Georgetown and, shortly, to a 15-room co-op on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. Kennedy went to St. David's, a Catholic elementary school, and then attended the Collegiate School, one of the oldest in Manhattan, from the third to 10th grades. Stunned by Robert Kennedy's assassination, Jacqueline Kennedy reportedly was terrified that killers would target her children. She married Greek shipping executive Aristotle Onassis, 29 years older than she. John Jr. and Caroline continued studies in New York, where their mother lived during the school year, but during the summer, Onassis, Jacqueline and the children traveled widely. In school, Kennedy demonstrated an interest in theater. He learned to appreciate the arts, one of his mother's passions, and, like other members of the Kennedy family, also came to appreciate at an early age that while he was richly blessed, many of the world's people are bent low by poverty. Kennedy was 15 when he spent a summer in Guatemala helping the struggling Central American nation rebuild after a devastating hurricane--the first of many efforts on behalf of others. While still a teenager, Kennedy enrolled in--and completed--an Outward Bound survival course off the coast of Maine and on another occasion worked as a cowpoke in Wyoming. Kennedy also survived Phillips Academy in Andover, N.H.-- but only after repeating junior-year math. Then it was on to Brown University, where Kennedy studied history and acted in a number of university dramatic productions. His first leading role was in J. M. Synge's, ``Playboy of the Western World.'' At the Brown campus in Providence, R.I., yesterday, most officials were off for the weekend but university police officers still were answering phones. One veteran, Sgt. Steve St. Jean, said he remembered Kennedy clearly--and not because the president's son got in trouble. But Kennedy was a celebrity, of course, and St. Jean remembers Jackie Onassis, as she was known by then, visiting campus and attending dramatic productions in which her son was appearing. ``He was an excellent kid,'' said St. Jean. ``Very low-key, very low-key, and extremely polite.'' While in school and for a few years after graduation in 1983, Kennedy was a young man on the move. He worked in Zimbabwe and South Africa and, stunned by the effects of apartheid, returned to the United States and organized an agency called the South African Group for Education. He interned at the Center for Democratic Policy, a liberal think tank in Washington, tutored poor kids in English, did fund-raising for the Democratic Party--even worked with a group of divers searching for a pirate ship off Cape Cod. Kennedy enrolled in law school at New York University and spent summers at the Justice Department, where he did research on civil rights cases. He graduated in 1989 and after famously and finally passing the bar, went to work for Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau. At Morgenthau's shop, Kennedy prosecuted defendants charged with consumer fraud and political corruption, before moving on to more demanding cases. He hung in until 1993. One associate was quoted in a magazine story as saying that Kennedy was restless and looking for other challenges. ``John said his heart was never really in it,'' the associate said. Kennedy dabbled again. He did considerable charity work, acted as head of a nonprofit agency that did advocacy work for hospital orderlies, and, in 1994, introduced segments for a WNYC-TV series called ``Heart of the City,'' dealing with issues such as literacy, self-esteem and alternative transportation. Kennedy continued to be a presence in New York. He worked with arts and theater groups and seemed committed to the culture of the city. When Kennedy attended the rededication of Grand Central Station in October, it was a particularly poignant occasion for him because his mother, who died in 1994, had been pivotal in saving the splendid space from destruction. As he looked over the renovated station with its polished marble expanses and arching ceiling of oceanic blue, Kennedy said: ``My mother would be very happy today.'' In 1995, Kennedy had a new idea. He wanted to begin a publication of social commentary and political analysis--a risky move in the hyper-competitive world of slick magazines. But with partner Michael Berman, Kennedy got George Magazine onto newsstands with a first issue that splashed Cindy Crawford on the cover with a bare midriff and done up like George Washington. The magazine's tone was sassy--but serious--and associates say that Kennedy was not just a ceremonial chief of the operation but a for-real, hands-on editor. Kennedy conducted interviews himself, wrote essays and once caused a stir for criticizing in print the way certain cousins were conducting their lives. It must say something that the liberal Kennedy chose Tony Blankley, former press chief for conservative former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, to be editor-at-large. Interviewed yesterday on CNN, Blankley described his boss in glowing terms, as a man with a ``real human sense.'' Blankley said Kennedy was without pretense. ``If you didn't know his last name, you'd think he was just another nice, young man.'' __ [From The New York Daily News, July 19, 1999] Bessette Sisters: Friends, Colleagues Share Memories of Two Standouts (By Edward Lewine, Lisa Colangelo and Bill Hutchinson with K.C. Baker and Dave Goldiner) They watched in awe as Carolyn Bessette wed the prince of Camelot, and they admired Lauren Bessette's conquest of the financial world. But yesterday, friends of both women watched TV sets showing rescuers off Martha's Vineyard, Mass., plying waters poised to swallow all the dreams of three promising people. For Deborah Allis Lamoureux, 33, of Stamford, Conn., the woman who became Carolyn Bessette Kennedy was still the kindest, most beautiful blonde she'd ever befriended. Lamoureux was the valedictorian of the class of 1983 at St. Mary's High School in Greenwich, Conn., the same class that boasts Carolyn Bessette. ``It's really hard to say a bad thing about Carolyn,'' said Lamoureux, tears welling in her eyes. ``She was such a wonderful person, really vivacious, outgoing. She liked to kid around and be a little rowdy at times, but we were all like that.'' Lamoureux pulled out the high school yearbook she got Carolyn Bessette to sign when they were juniors. ``Deb, I can't believe I finally made it. You made Doc's class and my first year a good one,'' wrote Bessette, using the nickname of a teacher. ``Thanks. Love Carolyn.'' ``When Carolyn married JFK Jr. my girlfriend and I from high school called up one another and said, `Is that our Carolyn?' We just thought, `Wow! that's really great,' '' Lamoureux said. ``To hear this sad news now is really shocking because they . . . had so much to offer the world.'' Carolyn Bessette and her twin sisters, Lauren and Lisa, 35, grew up in a big white, clapboard house on Lake Ave. in Greenwich. Their mother, Anne, was pregnant with Carolyn when she and her husband, William Bessette, a cabinet salesman from White Plains, N.Y., divorced. When Anne married orthopedic surgeon Richard Freeman, the family moved to Greenwich. Although Lauren and Lisa attended and graduated from Greenwich High School, Carolyn's mother felt the public school wasn't the right fit for her youngest child. Carolyn told friends her mother and stepfather sent her to St. Mary's Catholic School because she was ``having too good a time'' at Greenwich High. ``There were 350 kids in the school--everyone knew each other,'' said Melissa Nigro, who graduated from St. Mary's a year ahead of Carolyn. ``She was friendly and outgoing. She hung out with the guys more than the girls.'' When she graduated in 1983, classmates voted Carolyn the ``Ultimate Beautiful Person.'' She didn't change after enrolling at Boston University, where she majored in elementary education and appeared on the cover of a calendar called ``The Girls of B.U.'' After college Carolyn worked in publicity for a group of Boston nightclubs. Then designer Calvin Klein spotted the blue- eyed willowy blonde and hired her to work in publicity in New York. In a world of celebrity, she never let it go to her head, friends said. She impressed even casual acquaintances at Calvin Klein with her friendly outgoing demeanor. Always smiling, she buttonholed co-workers in corridors of the firm's W. 39th St. headquarters and went out of her way to greet them on the street. Angie Hobson worked in a different division of the fashion giant, but often shared an uptown subway ride with Bessette on the N or R lines to Times Square. ``She was the kind of person who always smiled at everyone,'' Hobson said. ``We always smiled and said hello, even though we weren't close friends.'' At Hobart College in upstate Geneva, Lauren Bessette studied business and dreamed of excelling in the financial world. She succeeded, becoming a vice president with Morgan Stanley Dean Witter. A colleague, Greg Neumann, who prayed for Lauren, her sister and JFK Jr. yesterday at St. Michael's Church in Greenwich, said he worked with Lauren in Hong Kong and came to admire her. ``She was devoted to her work, very professional and well- respected by her peers,'' Neumann said. ``She seemed to be a beautiful person. She had a lot of friends.'' __ [From The New York Daily News, July 19, 1999] Kennedy Genuine Article (By Mike Lupica) We always associate grace with the old. It seems those who are seen as the truest New Yorkers, the ones who love the city from the sidewalks up, always want to tell you about the past. But John F. Kennedy Jr., still so young over the ocean Friday night, showed grace from the start. He loved the city as much as anybody you could know, and came to be a part of it the way his mother was. There was a night not long ago at a Knicks playoff game when he waited patiently to make his way through the media crowd waiting in the hallway between the locker rooms. It had been a great, loud night at the Garden, full of excitement, which had now spilled into this narrow area about 100 feet from the court. ``I love this place,'' Kennedy said. ``They just let you be part of the crowd here.'' And even with the way the cameras followed him his whole life, the way he seemed to slip through them like a running back slipping through the line and then into the open, he could have been talking about New York. His face is as famous as any we have, as famous as any face of his time, and yet somehow he was able to still be part of the crowd. ``John was always the star,'' his cousin Tim Shriver, an old friend, told me once. ``He just didn't go around expecting anybody to treat him that way.'' He was on his way to the family homes at Cape Cod on Friday night, his wife and sister-in-law in the plane with him. He did not plan to fly in darkness. It seems he got caught in Friday night traffic getting out of the city, and left later than he had planned. Now it seems as if we have lost another member of his family too soon, this one as full of possibilities as any of them, even if he never showed any inclination to be political royalty. He had tried the law. He had started a smart, independent magazine. He was independent enough himself to take on his own cousin, Joseph Kennedy 3rd, on the pages of that magazine, known as George. There are people who know John Kennedy well, have known him his whole life, who thought he someday might try acting again. He was always willing to take a chance. Acting in college. Starting a magazine about politics, doing that as a Kennedy. Jumping out of an airplane. Flying a single-engine airplane away from the adopted home that he loved, New York, in the gathering darkness on Friday night. I knew him just a little, because of sports. He called up on the telephone one time when he was preparing to interview Don Imus. And I would see him at the Garden a lot for the Knicks. He sat at the Eighth Ave. end, first row under the basket, maybe 10 seats from the end of the Knicks' bench, over to his left. There was never a big entrance. There was never once the idea that he was there to be seen, the way so many of the other front-row celebrities are. He was there to see the game. To be part of the crowd. He made every head near him turn when he walked into the room, even if it was the Garden, one of the great rooms of New York. He acted oblivious to it all, the way his mother always did, when she would bring her immense grace into a room. A star who didn't expect to be treated that way. I always wondered if the rich young millionaire ballplayers on the court in front of John Kennedy knew how much they could learn from him about how real stars are supposed to act. The city saw him on his bicycle, and running through the parks. He never hid. He saw that it did no good for his mother. So there he was. The other night, the night before he got into his airplane, he went to see the Yankees and the Braves play at Yankee Stadium. Of course, the cameras found him, even in the middle of another amazing crowd for the Yankees, wearing a white dress shirt, open at the collar, looking cool as ever on a hot night, watching the game while everybody in the area watched him. A prince of his family who became a prince of the city. __ [From The Boston Globe, July 20, 1999] The Beliefs That Survive a Death in the Family (By Thomas Oliphant) What curse? There is no curse, not on the Kennedy family, not on anything. What genetic streak of recklessness? There is no such thing. The intersection of celebrity culture, phony melodrama, and debased journalism that defines modern American mass media is not the stuff of true legend and myth--epic concepts both. They are the ingredients of absurdity and obscenity. President Clinton was correct in observing for a heartbroken country on Sunday that the loss of John F. Kennedy Jr. is no isolated event, that his family ``has suffered much, and given more.'' It is the two halves of that insightful point that need to be seen together. For the fact is that none of the genuine feelings this tragedy has evoked--and none of the blarney we have endured through the airwaves--would exist had not three sons of Joseph and Rose Kennedy lost their lives in the service of their country. It is an obvious fact that has escaped notice, but it is central to the point the president made. Without those deaths, the extended family's later tragedies would not be special, much less unique. But there's much more. The deaths of Joseph P. Kennedy Jr., John F. Kennedy, and Robert F. Kennedy were not events isolated in a past time. Each left enduring legacies that make them a part of our culture and politics today. Joe Jr.'s death is a metaphor for the thousands of kids who volunteered for dangerous assignments during World War II and didn't return. And John and Robert Kennedy don't live on because there are so many pictures of a glittering time in the 1960s when so much of the country was so vigorously positive. In part they live on through their siblings. By now, it is generally recognized that Senator Edward Kennedy has been one of a handful of the most important legislators in American history. And it helps to know that one of his sisters (Eunice Kennedy Shriver) has had more of a positive impact on social services in the country than most of the relevant Cabinet officers of recent decades; and that another (Jean Kennedy Smith) was the ambassador to Ireland who helped transform the violent despair of the North to real hope. As it turned out, Camelot was never the correct analogy. Instead of one brief, shining moment, it has been half the American century, and it is already certain to be a good chunk of the next one. The legacy has two main components. The first is the ongoing capacity to motivate Americans to get involved in public service on the basis of a faith that effort leads inexorably to improvement. The second is an enduring impatience with the ideological status quo and a relentless experimentation with new ideas. John and Robert Kennedy, especially the latter after his brother's murder, were the bridging figures between the New Deal era of government services and the modern, creative concept of empowerment. It is no accident that their ideas-- from Medicare to empowerment zones, from tax cuts to welfare reform--have been invoked by the likes of Ronald Reagan and Jack Kemp as well as by Bill Clinton and Jesse Jackson. The tradition 53 years after John Kennedy ran for Congress is clearly dynastic, but this a dynasty of effort and achievement, not of heredity and entitlement. I have written about Kennedys for 30 years, and the only thing I know for sure is that, apart from the motivation to service and the intense family ties, each one is an individual, and assertively so. Though his death was tragic because he was still young, John Kennedy fit the mold of mold-breaker perfectly. I am positive he was headed for politics himself, but his way was going to fit his generation's lack of romantic illusions and be from the outside in. His heroes (Nelson Mandela and Cesar Chavez) were activists more than politicians. But it is no accident that his passing shifts our gaze naturally. Maryland's lieutenant governor, Kathleen Kennedy Townsend (Robert Kennedy's daughter), is a national leader among New Democrats. Representative Patrick Kennedy (Senator Kennedy's son) is part of Dick Gephardt's leadership in the House. There are scholar-writers (Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg); and innovative environmentalists (Robert Kennedy Jr. and Maxwell Taylor Kennedy); and there is possibly the next governor of Massachusetts (former Representative Joe Kennedy). Perseverance in the face of tragedy rests not only on a religious faith that a day of real justice will come, but also on President Kennedy's inaugural affirmation that on earth, God's work must truly be our own. In hundreds of speeches by various Kennedys through the years, there are three consistently repeated thoughts: With Oliver Wendell Holmes, that a person is involved in the actions and passions of his time at the peril of being judged not to have lived; with George Bernard Shaw, that while some see things as they are and ask why, I dream things that never were and ask why not; and, the one that always hits me hardest, that all of us can make a difference and each of us should try. You can grieve and weep with these special Americans, and you can honor their heritage by vowing never, ever, to give up. __ [From The New York Times, July 20, 1999] More Than Mere Glamour (By Sam Tanenhaus) Now that the assessments of John F. Kennedy Jr.'s short life have begun, the general impression seems to be that his importance had more to do with his good looks, his glamorous aura and his good nature than with any particular contribution he made to American politics or society. But that would be a misreading of who he was. Certainly, as an adult he struggled to find himself. Although he had an early interest in acting, he drifted to law school and a short tenure in the Manhattan prosecutor's office, where he was well liked but hardly stood out. ``I'm clearly not a major legal genius,'' Mr. Kennedy cheerfully admitted after twice failing the bar exam while the tabloids crowed over the ``Hunk Who Flunked.'' In 1995, he attempted his first sustained venture when he founded George, the glossy political magazine. But when the first issue appeared, with Cindy Crawford on the cover dressed up as a winking George Washington, complete with powdered wig and bare midriff, Mr. Kennedy's judgment and his seriousness seemed suspect once again. The criticism grew louder after Mr. Kennedy bared much of his own body in the pages of the magazine. More recently, his high-profile friendships with the likes of Larry Flynt and Mike Tyson left some wondering whether he retained any respect for the great political name he bore. But in truth, Mr. Kennedy seems to have understood with unique clarity that he had become an emblem of the new celebrity politics. Today that politics is all around us. There is the starstruck road show following Hillary Rodham Clinton around New York. There is the current Presidential race. Al Gore, we're told, is worried about his poor showing among those who constitute the ``Ally McBeal'' vote--that is, among single young women who still swoon over Bill Clinton but are bored by Mr. Gore's wonkery and his wooden demeanor. Meanwhile, George W. Bush is outpacing all his Republican rivals because he's more charming and relaxed than they are, more ``fun,'' which is another way of saying that Mr. Bush would fare best on MTV. Politics was not always so trivial a business. To watch the Presidential television debates of 1960, the great media event of their day, is to marvel at the seriousness of the subjects addressed by the two very grown-up candidates, John F. Kennedy and Richard M. Nixon. Should the United States mount an assault against Fidel Castro? Had we allowed the Soviets to create a ``missile gap'' that gave them a nuclear advantage? Just how many millions of Americans were impoverished and undernourished? Mr. Kennedy came out ahead, according to conventional wisdom, because he was more telegenic than his opponent. But that mattered only because he held his own on the issues. Today's politics is far different, and for John F. Kennedy Jr. what may have been most telling is how many years he let go by without seeking elective office. After his poised and polished performance at the 1988 Democratic convention, it was widely assumed he would enter politics. The opportunity was there--for instance, his name was mentioned when New York's Daniel Patrick Moynihan decided not to seek re-election to the Senate. But Mr. Kennedy held back. ``A public career is--it's a lot to bite off. And you better be ready for it,'' he said when asked about the attractions of political life. These were not the words of a naif but the wary judgment of someone who knew, with harrowing exactitude, that there is a shadow side to all this political fun. He had grown up being trailed by Secret Service agents. No one knew better than he that democracy's entertainments can quickly become disturbing spectacles. Many have praised his ongoing interest in politics. But the public service he gravitated toward was charitable and nonpolitical and done behind the scenes. Like Princess Diana, with whom he apparently felt a kinship, Mr. Kennedy was especially drawn to the plight of have-nots and outcasts. Reaching Up, the nonprofit group he headed for a decade, helped train people who work with the mentally retarded. It is hard not to think that some part of him must have hated politics. Perhaps this was why George, though Mr. Kennedy described it as a vehicle for raising civic awareness, did best when it made sport of politics and political figures and of the pundits who have become celebrities in their own right. It seems somehow emblematic that on a recent visit to South Dakota Mr. Kennedy wanted to rappel down Mount Rushmore (a request denied by park officials); rather than trying to scale the heights of elective politics, he was more like a child thumbing his nose at it. In the final volume of his memoirs Henry Kissinger reckons the cost Camelot exacted from all Presidents who followed. ``John F. Kennedy's Presidency was too brief to require him to choose between heroism and stardom, or even to be conscious of the choice,'' Mr. Kissinger wrote. ``Kennedy was able to practice both modes, unintentionally mortgaging the tenure of his immediate successors who fell prey to the illusion that no choice needed to be made.'' John Kennedy Jr. was granted no choice at all. It was stardom from the beginning. But he never confused it with heroism, and he deserves our gratitude for doing his best to make sure we understood the difference, too. __ [From The Washington Post, July 20, 1999] JFK Jr.: Charity's Dream Prize (By Art Buchwald) I knew John F. Kennedy Jr., not intimately enough, but enough to say hello to on Martha's Vineyard. It was a place his mother loved very much and one he and his sister, Caroline, loved as well. We have a charity auction on the island for Community Services, which includes day-care centers, visiting nurses, drug and alcohol abuse counseling, and other services to help people in need. Ours is different from other auctions in that the items cannot be purchased anywhere--they are sold as dreams. We auction off a sailboat ride with Walter Cronkite, an extra part in a Mike Nichols movie, an evening at Lincoln Center with Beverly Sills, a tennis game with Mike Wallace, a walk across the bridge with David McCullough, and a luncheon with Kay Graham. Three years ago, I called John Kennedy and asked him if we could auction him off. He was reluctant but finally agreed to take four people on a bicycle trip around Gay Head near his home. The ride sold for almost $12,500 and was one of the most popular of all the items. A few weeks ago, I called John and asked him if he would be auctioned off for lunch at George Magazine. He hesitated and then said, ``I'll be honest with you. I hate to be auctioned off. I feel part of a slave market.'' I said, ``I understand.'' Realizing I had let him off the hook, he said, ``Tom Hanks is on the island and he loves Martha's Vineyard.'' He laughed, and I thanked him for the tip. John, his wife and sister-in-law's tragic flight to Martha's Vineyard struck so many people in this country. It forced us to relive other Kennedy tragedies, particularly his father's assassination. Once again, a country went into mourning for a Kennedy. Not only was John Kennedy Jr. very much part of our history, but he represented the type of person we wanted our sons to be. When it was announced he had disappeared, those of us on the Vineyard received dozens of calls from friends around the country who felt or wanted to feel that we knew more than they did. We didn't. Our source of information was the TV, the same source they were tuned in to. John Kennedy Jr. was not an astronaut, a war hero, a Nobel Prize-winning scientist or a professional athlete. Yet somehow we were connected. As with all the Kennedys, he was family. __ [From USA Today, July 20, 1999] Son of Privilege Fathered Many Good Works (By Jeannie Williams) ``He was a man of uncommon grace and patience. I think he was comfortable with himself.'' That was Paul Newman's comment Monday on John F. Kennedy Jr.--two famous men who were in cahoots when it came to doing good. John Kennedy, believed dead with his wife and sister-in-law in Friday's plane crash off Martha's Vineyard, did more good in his 38 years than most people knew. He was more outgoing in public than sister Caroline, but John never trumpeted his charity work. He founded a group, Reaching Up, to help retarded and developmentally disabled people. And having done a little acting himself, not to mention having dated actresses, he was on the board of Naked Angels, a New York theater group. He also was a member of the Robin Hood Foundation, which fights poverty in New York City with after-school and food programs and job training. His mother, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, was on the board of the Whitney Museum of American Art, and he shared her interest. He chaired one of its most successful galas, in 1996, and he and wife Carolyn Bessette Kennedy attended the March affair. They also supported the Municipal Art Society, another of Onassis' longtime interests. Kennedy and Newman founded the Newman's Own/George Awards for companies that not only give money to charity, but also train workers and find jobs for them. George Update: In an odd conjunction of events, Michael Berman, who co-founded George Magazine with Kennedy in 1995, left its publisher, Hachette Filipacchi Magazines, on Friday, the day of Kennedy's disappearance. Berman, who wasn't commenting, had departed from George two years ago after reported conflicts with Kennedy, his good friend and partner, to work on Hachette's film and TV projects. He will now start an Internet firm. Meanwhile, the president and CEO of Hachette, Jack Kliger, expressed sorrow in a statement Monday, noting, ``John's reputation as a visionary editor, a talented business man and a fine role model is known throughout the industry and indeed throughout the world.'' The future of George was uncertain even before the loss of Kennedy, but Kliger added, ``HFM continues to be committed to fulfilling John's vision for the magazine.'' Calvin Klein, for whom Carolyn Bessette Kennedy had worked (though her wedding gown was by another designer), issued a brief statement: ``Carolyn and John worked hard to keep their relationship as private and intimate as their circumstances would allow. I feel it's important to respect their efforts. My thoughts and sympathy are with their families.'' First Fan: Hillary Rodham Clinton, who called John's sister Saturday, had warm memories of him, she told Family Circle contributing editor Nancy Lloyd on Monday for a future article in that magazine. The first lady recalled John's attending ``the very first event that was held in New York'' for Bill Clinton's presidential campaign, she said. But ``my fondest memories of him were from the time we spent together on Martha's Vineyard,'' where the Clintons have vacationed. She recalled dinner with John, his sister, Sen. Edward Kennedy and Caroline's family. ``We'd play this hilarious game that John was always the mastermind of . . . called Bartlett's. I think it's a family game.'' Players are told a name from John Bartlett's Familiar Quotations and must make up a quote to go with the name, then vote on whose quote most resembles the saying in the book. John, she said, ``was creative and funny and he wrote well. . . . We would have a great time sitting in their living room, yelling about these quotations. He was always so genuinely friendly and nice.'' The first lady also recalled a gift to John after he spoke at a White House screening of the recent HBO series From the Earth to the Moon. ``I kidded him afterward that if he was going to be making a lot of speeches afterward, which I thought he would, he needed a folder for his speech notes.'' She bought one and had his initials put on it. ``He wrote me a really cute, funny letter back about how I obviously thought he was going to need more practice making speeches. He had this wonderful, self-deprecating humor.'' The gift now carries a sad irony, since John's possible political future was always speculated about. He would have made many more speeches if Newsweek's Jonathan Alter is right in saying John might have run for the Senate next year--if Hillary Clinton had not set her sights on the New York seat. Golden Boy: Adman Jerry Della Femina recalled John as very visible on Hamptons visits. ``He Rollerbladed into my Red Horse Market and stopped business for 10 minutes. No one ever got used to seeing him. When you saw him, you felt good, a magical thing few people possess.'' Elaine Lafferty in The (Dublin) Irish Times: ``America's heart was broken again over the weekend with the news that Mr. Kennedy Jr.'s plane had crashed. . . . The outpouring of grief, the specter of a nation gathered around its televisions watching round-the-clock accounts of the search for his plane, can seem baffling. `Come on. It's sad, but he was just a rich kid who had a famous father,' said one man in a pub. . . . `What did he ever do on his own?' . . . But Mr. Kennedy Jr. came to symbolize something important, not just because of who his father was, but because of the kind of life he was leading. . . . (He was) a man whose life was decanting, and who understood that wisdom could not be rushed.'' John Timpane in The Philadelphia Inquirer: ``Our ability to perceive tragedy is a test of our morality. From what I've seen this weekend, I'd say America is full of people who pass that test. . . . (Tragedy is) a test of our ability to acknowledge fate, to bear the suffering of others. . . . Take this comfort, at least, from the horror of this weekend: The sorrow you feel today may be a gauge of your goodness.'' Joe Sciacca in the Boston Herald: ``We are left wondering not just what might have been, but what was. There was something about John F. Kennedy Jr. . . . Something that signaled he had not quite found his place yet. . . . Defining JFK Jr., as every pundit in America is struggling to do, is not possible. And that may well be the elusive legacy for which he searched.'' The Washington Times in an editorial: ``The media responded to the grim tidings as though a head of state had died. . . . It is an unnatural and terrible and newsworthy thing for a parent to have to bury a child. . . . Americans aren't ready to bury a `son' they had watched grow to a life full of promise.'' Calgary Sun in an editorial: ``He was the tangible link to the magic of his father's White House Camelot--a simpler time, when leaders were larger than life, when people dared to believe, when it seemed dreams were possible. With the crash of John-John's plane, we face the reality that the link may be broken, forever. And so we pray for the Kennedy families. And for that little piece of our own dreams, as well.'' __ [From The Boston Globe, July 21, 1999] JFK Jr. Kept his Charitable Work Private, But Helped Thousands (By Fred Kaplan) Everybody knew he rode his bike through the streets of Manhattan, played softball and Frisbee in Central Park, and made grand entrances at black-tie galas. But John F. Kennedy Jr. also worked--quietly but very intensively, his associates say--with several charity groups that have donated millions of dollars and helped thousands of people in the city he made his own. In 1988, the year People Magazine declared him ``the sexiest man alive,'' Kennedy formed Reaching Up, an organization to improve care for the mentally handicapped. Three years later, he joined the board of the Robin Hood Foundation, a group started by Wall Street millionaires that gives more than $1 million a month to programs to help the city's impoverished children. ``This was no resume-builder for him,'' Peter Kiernan III, Robin Hood's chairman, as well as a managing director at the Goldman Sachs investment house, said yesterday. ``This was not a subtle, slight involvement. He was very engaged. He was a full partner. Quite often, he kept us focused on our mission when we started to drift away.'' For some of the group's causes, including a school in Harlem, Kennedy was the one who initiated the contact and encouraged the board to act. ``He came to every board meeting, went to look at every place we invested in,'' Kiernan said. ``When we went to a school, he'd talk with the strategic-planning people, and John was very good at that. But he'd also plunge right in there with the schoolchildren. `Hey, kids, what's going on.' He'd get into conversations with them. . . . We lost a great guy here.'' Reaching Up grew out of the Kennedy family's longstanding charity work with the mentally retarded, which began as a tribute to his father's sister, Rosemary, who has been institutionalized for many years. ``John spent about a year investigating how to get involved in this,'' said Bill Ebenstein, the executive director of Reaching Up. ``And he realized the best way to support people with disabilities was to support the workers who provided services for them, by creating a program for them in higher education and helping them pay for it.'' Barbara Anselm, now the director of an adult day care program for United Cerebral Palsy in Brooklyn, was a caseworker and advocate for the handicapped in 1991, when Kennedy awarded her a stipend, one of the first. ``It helped me pay the tuition so I could go to classes at night,'' Anselm recalled. ``I met John Kennedy. He told me he had selected my application himself. It was nice to know--it encouraged me to know--that people of that stature were supporting me.'' Before Reaching Up, Ebenstein said, people like Anselm had few professional prospects. ``These were people with low-wage jobs, poverty jobs really,'' he said. ``There was no career ladder. Politicians were talking then about `quality health care,' but John realized you could never build a quality system of services unless you had quality jobs for the front-line workers.'' So, Kennedy funded--and persuaded professionals in a variety of fields to develop--a series of courses on disabilities at the City University of New York, especially its East Side Manhattan branch at Hunter College. ``He'd bring public and private entities together to work out how to do this: city and state agencies, the public universities, the hospital workers' unions,'' Ebenstein said. ``He could hold a coalition like this together. He led these meetings, visited all the places, knew all the executive directors.'' Ebenstein is unsure whether the organization can continue without Kennedy. ``Keeping these entities together--you've got all this infighting and politics--you need someone who can transcend that,'' he said. ``I'm hoping we can keep doing it, but I don't know.'' In the decade since it began, Reaching Up has awarded stipends to 400 Kennedy Fellows, 90 percent of whom have stayed in the field of helping the disabled. Ebenstein estimated that an additional 1,000 students have taken college courses that the organization has created. Kennedy played down his involvement in these areas. David Saltzman, who is executive director of the Robin Hood Foundation and went to Brown University with Kennedy in the 1980s, declined to talk specifically about his role in the organization. ``He was a friend of mine,'' Saltzman said. ``He asked me to respect his privacy, and I'm going to continue doing that.'' Ebenstein made the same point: ``He did not seek publicity. We'd win an award, and I'd say, `Can't we put out a news release?' He'd say, `No.' He feared people would just focus on him and miss the substance of what he was doing.'' __ [From The New York Post, July 21, 1999] Post Reporter Recalls JFK Jr. Fondly (By Mike Pearl) Mike Pearl covered Manhattan Criminal Court for the New York Post for 31 years until his retirement last year. He had more contact with John Kennedy Jr. during Kennedy's four-year stint as an assistant district attorney than did any other reporter. I met John F. Kennedy Jr. in 1989, just a few days after he joined the Manhattan district attorney's office. Another ADA introduced us during lunch at Forlini's, a restaurant close to the courthouse. The first thing I did was apologize to him. Kennedy looked surprised. ``What for?'' he asked. ``What have you done?'' ``Nothing yet,'' I told him. ``But I'm afraid I'm going to be quite a pest.'' He smiled and said he understood that it was my job. But I don't think he had any idea at that point what lay ahead of him. Hardly a week would go by that either The Post's city desk or Page Six would have me run down a tip that he either had a new girlfriend or was breaking up with an old one, was running for political office or had been offered another high-profile job. It became an almost daily ritual that I would seek him out, mostly during the lunch hour, and put the question of the day to him. Kennedy never lost his temper and always heard me out. If it was a personal question, he would just shake his head and say ``I'm not going to answer that.'' Sometimes the query amused him and he would smile, but still say nothing. He reached out to me three times by phone. The first time, he called me at home one night to ask me if I had a good source for The Post's exclusive story that he had passed the bar exam after having flunked it twice. The results of the bar exam were not to be published for another four days. I assured him he had passed. He thanked me, sounding relieved. I remember when he won his first trial. He convinced jurors a man was guilty of burglary after cops found the man asleep on the victim's bed, his pocket stuffed with her jewelry and cash. Kennedy was proud of winning the case, but a little embarrassed at how easy it had been. The only time he complained was the time he buttonholed me after a Page Six item about him and asked: ``Is there any way you can stop them from calling me John-John?'' The second time he called was in 1993 to say he was leaving the DA's office and apologized for not giving me the exclusive. The third and last time I heard from him was last year when he called to say he was sorry he couldn't attend my retirement party because of a previous engagement. I think it was really because he knew there would be too many reporters around and his presence would take the spotlight off me at my own party. He was a real gentleman. __ [From The New York Post, July 21, 1999] John F. Kennedy--The Man I Knew, The Man I'll Miss (Keith J. Kelly) Young John Kennedy was a man of his word, and even when he was mad at you, he kept his sense of humor. I was on the scene the very first day he stuck his toe into the publishing world at the New York Hilton in November 1993. He was taking a three-day business course, ``How to Launch Your Own Magazine.'' During a break, he wandered into the hall. ``Hey, John!'' I called. ``Are you thinking of launching your own magazine?'' ``I don't know,'' he said, polite but noncommittal. ``If you did launch a magazine, what would it be about?'' ``I don't know,'' he said. ``I don't mean to be giving you a hard time--but I'll be around here for the next few days,'' he said. I asked him to promise to call me first if he ever launched his own magazine. He said, ``OK, I will.'' Nearly two years later, I had changed jobs, moving to Advertising Age from editing a publishing insider's newsletter. Kennedy had found $20 million in funding from Hachette Filipacchi Magazines. The press was beating a path to his door for the first interview. Newsweek, New Yorker and Esquire all put John's face on their covers, even though he would not do interviews. On Aug. 30, he gave the first exclusive interview-- to me. It ran monster-sized on the front page of Ad Age's Sept. 4, '95 issue, with two color photos. My dad, Jack Kelly, an old JFK (Sr.) booster, was proud. My sister, Kathleen, had the front page framed and gave it to me as a Christmas present. The New York Times went ballistic. How could Kennedy force them to join the great unwashed masses at the 350-person press conference later that week for the launch? Sure, there were a lot of strategic reasons to give the story to the ``bible of the advertising biz,'' as Ad Age is known. But I like to think it was John Kennedy keeping the simple word he had given to a reporter nearly two years earlier. Kennedy recalled with a chuckle how the course instructor had advised the class that there were only two topics to avoid in starting a new magazine: religion and politics. Clearly, he was a chance-taker in business, as in life. Once, around St. Patrick's Day, 1996, I asked him to join me for a few pints--off the record and without p.r. people. We headed down to Swift's Hibernian Lounge in the East Village. We were supposed to talk about magazines, but we talked more about Northern Ireland. One of the things I think he enjoyed most about editing was that it allowed him to freely explore any topic he was curious about, to complete his education through journalism. On the business side, within two years of its launch, George had become the biggest political magazine in the country. In fact, at 403,000 circulation, George today is bigger than The Nation, The New Republic and the National Review combined. But John wanted George to become even larger, to eventually reach circulation of 1 million. But by the end of the magazine's second year, it was having some growing pains and still losing money. In August 1997, I sought an interview about his decision to pose nude--or nearly nude--for the editor's note accompanying the magazine's issue that month. The issue sold out--but raised new questions about the magazine's direction. Though he ducked this request for an interview, he did drop me a line after my unfavorable story ran. He proved he hadn't lost his sense of humor or class. ``Nude is nude,'' John wrote. ``That's not nude. Perhaps you spent too much time in Catholic school. Cheers, John Kennedy.'' When I moved over to The Post a year ago, he dropped me a congratulatory line. ``I hope to work with you more in the future,'' he wrote. And he signed it: ``John (not John-John) Kennedy.'' __ [From The Washington Post, July 21, 1999] Rubles for John-John (By Melor Sturua) The day when President Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas was unforgettable for everybody, including me. On that particular day I was on duty in Izvestia in my capacity as an acting foreign editor of this official Soviet government newspaper. The horrible news came too late to be printed in our afternoon edition. The paper was already on sale in the streets of Moscow. But our weekly literary supplement, Nedelya, was still available. I ordered the printing of a big picture of the murdered president in a black frame with a short, appropriate commentary. My decision was not only journalistic and humanitarian but also political. The wire services were stressing in their dispatches that the assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald, had spent some time in the Soviet Union. The implications were obvious, although nobody was making any overt connections. To omit the news could only feed these suspicions. As soon as I came home, the telephone rang. Comrade Leonid Ilyichev was calling. Ilyichev was at that time the secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party in charge of ideology and propaganda. ``Did you give the order to publish President Kennedy's picture in a black frame?'' he asked. The timbre of his intimidating voice wasn't promising anything good. ``Yes, I did,'' I answered. ``So you are so powerful that you even can elevate the American president to the status of the members of the Politburo?'' ``But why?'' I was really taken aback. ``Because only deceased members of the Politburo are entitled to pictures with a black frame. So come tomorrow morning to my offices at the Old Square, and don't forget to bring your membership card. I promise you that you will leave my office without it.'' At that time, being expelled from the Communist Party meant social, political and professional death, especially for a journalist who worked at the government newspaper. I had a horrible, sleepless night. In the morning, before going to my execution at the Old Square headquarters of the Central Committee, I went to my editor in chief, the powerful son-in-law of Nikita Khrushchev, and told him what was happening. He became angry and agitated and cursed Ilyichev with unprintable words. ``Leonid doesn't know anything,'' he said. ``The Politburo has just decided to send [an emissary] to Washington to represent the Soviet Union at the state funeral.'' ``Your decision was correct.'' ``But what about Ilyichev?'' I asked. ``I will handle him myself.'' The funeral of President Kennedy was shown on Soviet television. By the way, it was the first direct, uncensored transatlantic transmission. The whole country was moved by the ceremony, and of course the most touching scene was the 3-year- old John-John standing outside St. Matthew's Cathedral in Washington squinting into the sun and raising his hand in a military salute as his father's coffin rolled by. Beginning the next day, letters with rubles in small denominations began to pile up on the desk in my office. The senders, the majority of them ordinary Russian women, were asking me to send this money ``to the poor widow and her children.'' Almost everybody was mentioning the ``heart- wrenching'' scene of John-John's salute. The mail, especially the money, created substantial difficulties for us. We could not keep the money and could not send it to Jacqueline Kennedy. To send it back also was not so easy. Many senders didn't give their return addresses. But the most difficult part was to compose letters with a tactful explanation that would not insult the good, compassionate and kind people that the wealthy widow didn't need their worthless rubles. Almost 30 years went by before I first met John F. Kennedy Jr. At that time I was a fellow at the Kennedy School of Government, and young John and his uncle Sen. Ted Kennedy came to us for some social gathering. During the luncheon, I told John the story of his father's picture in the black frame and of the mail with rubles. He was visibly moved, and to hide his emotions he joked: ``Well, you better send those rubles on to my mother. You know, she needs money.'' The untimely and unfair death of John Kennedy Jr. has shocked Russians, particularly Russian women, who know how to feel compassion. But times have changed, for better and for worse. Nobody sends money for the poor Kennedys, but on the other hand, nobody is punished by the extinct Central Committee for publishing John Kennedy's picture. And what a pity that John Kennedy Jr. left this world so early that he couldn't have his own John-John, who would salute his father's coffin. The writer is a senior fellow at the University of Minnesota's Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs. __ [From The Wall Street Journal, July 22, 1999] America's Family (By Albert R. Hunt) A celebrity, the eminent historian Daniel Boorstin once noted, is ``known for his well-knownness.'' The famous, by contrast, are recognized as such for their personal merits and actual achievements. This distinction is at the heart of the public reaction to the tragedy of John F. Kennedy Jr., who, with his wife and sister-in-law, perished last week in a private plane. I was glued to CNN for much of the weekend, and was struck by how different the coverage of this death was from that of Princess Diana's in 1997. Diana--whose name loomed much larger in the public mind than any of her achievements--was a celebrity. The same cannot be said of the Kennedys. While John F. Kennedy Jr. evoked the myths--and cliches--of Camelot and America's ``prince,'' he could not be described simply as a celebrity. He belonged to a family that has made and continues to make immense contributions to this country. And he showed real promise to grow into a genuinely famous person in his own right. That is why, unlike the Roosevelts, the Rockefellers or other once-supposed dynasties, the Kennedys flourish now for a third generation of Americans who've lived through their many triumphs and far too many tragedies. To be sure, the Kennedy family is full of faults. A half- dozen of the 29 Kennedy cousins in this generation have had drug or alcohol problems, and one died. The older generation had real flaws, particularly the sexual promiscuity of Jack and Ted Kennedy; their role model was family patriarch Joseph P. Kennedy. There is a streak of arrogance and recklessness in the family that has tarnished the family name and led more than once to calamity. These travails have spawned a cottage industry of Kennedy- bashing authors and commentators--as well as self-styled ``intimates'' who, when tragedy strikes, rush to offer insights about someone they knew only casually. But a larger problem is that the glamour, glitz and high life--the poetry of the Kennedys--has dominated the public's attention and sometimes obscured a record of public service and charitable work--the prose--that knows few equals. ``With the Kennedys,'' says family friend and adviser Robert Shrum, ``there is an underlying belief in a fundamental idealism that people have an obligation to care about more than themselves.'' President Kennedy and Robert F. Kennedy inspired legions of Americans to go into public service. Edward M. Kennedy, despite his well-chronicled flaws, has become one of the half-dozen most influential senators in this century. Those are extraordinary achievements by any light. It doesn't stop there. Eunice Kennedy Shriver, along with her engaging husband, Sarge, has done more than anyone in America to focus attention and improve the plight of the mentally retarded. One example: earlier this month in Raleigh, N.C., 7,000 athletes from 150 countries competed at the Shriver-created Special Olympics for the mentally retarded. Another JFK sister, Jean Smith, though a thorn in the side of the foreign-policy establishment, served five years as ambassador to Ireland and played a constructive role in helping to fashion the Northern Ireland peace accord. Of the next generation, the most notable achievers, ironically, may be Joseph Kennedy's 12 granddaughters. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend is the lieutenant governor of Maryland and the favorite to be the next governor. A woman of exceptional decency and intelligence, she's the most likely next national Kennedy figure. Her cousin, Maria Shriver, is a prominent television journalist; former NBC News president Michael Gartner calls her one of the three best TV journalists he encountered. Some of the men are prominent too. Patrick Kennedy, a three-term Congressman from Rhode Island, is the chairman of the Democratic House Campaign committee. Mark Shriver, a Maryland state legislator, authored legislation that gave adoptive parents the same parental-leave rights as birth parents. Tim Shriver is the president of the Special Olympics. Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is an accomplished environmentalist who has played a key role in helping clean up New York's Hudson River. Willie Smith--acquitted in a controversial rape charge eight years ago--now is a rehabilitative medical doctor and the organizer of Physicians Against Land Mines. Other Kennedys are active in the disabilities, mental health and human-rights movements. There are environmentalists, writers, filmmakers, and a few journalists. They focus more on the dispossessed than on capital gains or inheritance taxes. Unlike some other wealthy families, the Kennedys spend little time at polo or yacht clubs. Of course, the most publicized of the Kennedys have been the late president's children. Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg is a lawyer who has written two critically acclaimed books, one on the Bill of Rights and another on the issue of privacy. Those who really know Ms. Schlossberg describe her as a bright, caring and very-together wife, mother and scholar. For his part, John F. Kennedy Jr. was in the process of carving out a real identity for himself beyond celebritydom. He founded George Magazine--not one of the more profound journals in the land, but also not without its merits. Moreover, the most interesting parts of it were Kennedy's personal contributions, including interviews with Cuban leader Fidel Castro, Vietnam's General Giap and conservative patron Richard Mellon Scaife. A man who inspired genuine loyalty and affection from his friends, Kennedy's political future was almost unlimited. And that was not simply on account of his family name. How many Roosevelts achieved such success? The Kennedys are remarkably resilient people with an unusual capacity for growth. They have come back from scandal, electoral defeat and personal tragedy to climb new heights, whether due to their bedrock Irish Catholic faith or some form of genetic toughness. America has suffered through much sadness with this family: The memories of a little three-year-old boy saluting his martyred father and then the unfathomable plane crash that took him this past weekend, are anguishing emotional bookends. Still, America is a different place because of the Kennedys--a much better one. __ [From The New York Daily News, July 23, 1999] He Quietly Laid Gifts of Aid Before Hundreds (By Juan Gonzalez) They were a lasting passion of John F. Kennedy Jr.'s short life, far removed from the celebrity pursuits that fascinated the media gossip mavens. He called them Kennedy Fellows, and long after this week's eulogies have faded from memory, they will remain his greatest legacy. Herminia Torres, Connie Gordon, Marjorie Bissainthe--there are 400 fellows in all, most of them black and Hispanic--and Kennedy knew each of them by name. For a decade, he helped finance their education, met with them periodically and nurtured their careers through a charity he created and headed, the Reaching Up Foundation. Scattered in schools and agencies all over town, they were toiling among the mentally disabled with little pay and even less respect until he came into their lives. Yet this son of privilege and pain, whose life has captivated America since that fatal day in Dallas, always insisted on keeping his work with Reaching Up Foundation away from the public spotlight. James Murphy recalls the day in 1989 the young Kennedy walked into his office and proposed the program. Murphy was chairman of the City University at the time. Kennedy was brought in by Jeff Sachs, an investment banker and one-time health-policy guru for Govs. Hugh Carey and Mario Cuomo, and one of Kennedy's closest friends. Even now, Sachs, who is the foundation's secretary, refuses to talk publicly about his friend's involvement. ``I'm only doing what John would have wanted,'' Sachs said this week in declining an interview. Kennedy was only 28 when he founded Reaching Up. He wanted to continue his family's work in the field of mental retardation but to tie it to his own interest in education, Murphy recalled. Kennedy and Sachs realized that caregivers to the mentally disabled were mostly minorities and women with few opportunities for advancement and few rewards to stay in the field. They saw the Kennedy Fellowships as a way to elevate the prestige of the profession. Kennedy secured the initial funding from a family foundation, and Reaching Up began offering $1,000-a-year stipends to fellows to continue their education at CUNY as well as providing individual mentors and professional seminars for them. Torres had been a caregiver to the disabled since 1980 and still was working toward her bachelor's degree at Lehman College in 1993 when she was selected as a fellow. The experience changed her life. ``I could never repay John for what he did for me and all the other fellows,'' she said. ``We had the opportunity to grow, to meet other people in the field. And he knew all about each of us. He kept track of how we were doing and always told us how valuable we front-line workers were.'' Today, she is the director of the Southern Blvd. Day Treatment Training Program in the South Bronx. Gordon had a full-time job, was attending Bronx Community College full-time and unsure of her future plans when she was chosen as a fellow in 1994. The Kennedy mystique opened doors she never expected. She went on to get her bachelor's and master's degrees and is now a social worker with Project Return. But Kennedy was not just the name on top of the Reaching Up letterhead. ``This was something he was deeply involved with,'' said Jason Chapin, associate director of the foundation. Kennedy attended every board meeting and talked regularly with the full-time staff. And each year he was the keynote speaker at a convocation of all the fellows. ``He was down-to-earth, a wonderful person,'' Torres said. ``He never presented an air of importance.'' Once, Torres was invited to a meeting of the board of directors and was surprised to see Kennedy greeting everyone who arrived. ``Good evening, Herminia,'' Kennedy said with a smile as she walked in. ``Thank you for attending.'' Torres was flabbergasted that ``he knew my name.'' She soon discovered that he was getting regular reports on all the fellows from the foundation's staff. At this year's convocation in May, Bissainthe introduced Kennedy and thanked him for all his work. Gordon was there with her husband, who urged her to take a photo alongside Kennedy as several fellows were doing. She declined. ``I told, my husband, `No, I'll take one next year. John comes to these every year.' '' __ [From The New York Times, July 23, 1999] The Kennedy Curse, and Other Myths (By Theodore C. Sorensen) This week has been inexpressibly sad for those of us who had known John F. Kennedy Jr. since the day of his birth nearly 39 years ago. To rage at the cruelty of fate is of no avail. To rage at the fatuity of thoughtless media commentaries is perhaps just as futile, but it is difficult to remain silent, even during a period of grief, about some of the nonsense that has been mixed in with all the heartfelt expressions of sorrow. Among the most absurd has been the repeated but mindless speculation that there exists some kind of Kennedy family ``curse.'' The Kennedys are not accursed but blessed. True, they have endured, with remarkable religious faith, more than their proportionate ``share'' of pain (though that is never allotted by the law of averages anyway). But they have also been endowed with good genes, good brains, good looks, good health and good fortune, with both instincts and opportunities for serving their country and helping those who are less fortunate. Virtually every family has its own silent tragedy. Large families are likely to have a larger number of tragedies. Highly publicized families have more highly publicized tragedies. The Kennedy family is both large and highly publicized. But for every day of sorrow that the Kennedys have suffered, they have over the years celebrated far more days of joy and satisfaction--not as American royalty or members of a dynasty (more nonsense) but as individuals who know how to do good, have fun and love and support each other all at the same time. Yet there are limits to how much one can generalize about all the members of so sizable and diverse a clan. The application of adjectives like ``flamboyant,'' ``arrogant'' and ``irresponsible'' to all Kennedys by people who clearly know no Kennedys is both arrogant and irresponsible. Each of the Kennedys whom I have known in the last half century, particularly the three brothers who served in the United States Senate, has had his own strengths and weaknesses, successes and failures, admirers and detractors. But all three of the Senators, and clearly many of the generation that followed, preferred a life of action and commitment to one of ease and repose. They preferred to help build a better world rather than merely inhabit it. Unafraid of challenge or controversy, they were willing to suffer ``the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.'' We have been told that the death of J.F.K.'s namesake means not only the end of his line and name but also ``the end of the Kennedy dream.'' Following previous family tragedies, we were also told the dream was ending. But the Kennedy dream did not depend on one man's name or family. So long as Americans are pre-eminent in space, and serving in the Peace Corps, and admitted to lunch counters, universities and employment rolls regardless of race, and seeking out politics and public service as--in J.F.K.'s words-- a ``proud and lively career,'' the Kennedy dream lives. So does the Kennedy family. This country's history of political families--the Adamses, the Roosevelts, the Bushes (to say nothing of Albert Gore, Sr. and Jr.)--is a proud one. The Kennedys are a part of that history and will continue to be. Some blame the high level of Kennedy tragedies on the Kennedys themselves, on a supposedly common trait of recklessness, of self-destruction, of an obsession with premature death. More nonsense. I associate the Kennedy name with life, not death, with hope and vigor and adventure, not despair. All the Kennedys I have known, both young and younger, have so loved life that they did not want to waste a precious minute of it in useless boredom, or to be diverted from any new horizon in it by the presence of risk. They knew all about death. President Kennedy survived several brushes with it. But they never wished it or needlessly courted it. They were too full of life. It can be argued that each of us, in our way of life, contributes to our ultimate death. But not deliberately or heedlessly. People who are committed, sometimes overcommitted, must often rush to meet their obligations, and rush means risk. And air travel is unforgiving of error. John Kennedy Jr.'s father never piloted an airplane. But he was ever mindful of the air crashes that killed his older brother and sister. In barnstorming the 50 states between the July 1956 Democratic National Convention and the January 1960 announcement of his candidacy for the Presidency, he flew on aircraft of all types and sizes, often piloted by amateurs, often at night, often in storms, once with me holding the cabin door shut, once with him navigating through the co-pilot's window, once landing on water and once in a cornfield and once--because of a fatigued pilot's misjudgment--almost upside down. J.F.K. accepted these hazards with calm and humor. He was not reckless, much less self-destructive or indifferent to his safety or mine. But he did what he had to do. Those who care in this country--about the lives of others as well as their own--are more likely to dare. They are also more likely to get things done. That is not only the very essence of the Kennedy tradition, it is also the very essence of America. Theodore C. Sorensen, a lawyer, worked for John F. Kennedy from 1953 to 1963. __ [From USA Today, July 23, 1999] Words of Admiration and Remembrance (By Arlene Vigoda, Ann Oldenburg, Jim Drinkard, Cindy Hall, Katy Kelly, Mary Beth Marklein, Stephen Schaefer, Craig Wilson, and Kitty Bean Yancey) A Great Loss ``We Americans are reduced by the latest Kennedy tragedy. We have lost some flair, some beauty, some daring. Suddenly, we are older. Suddenly, we are sadder.'' --Poet Maya Angelou Keeping the Faith ``John and his wife, Carolyn, came home from their honeymoon three days early to interview me for his magazine, George. We had a wonderful time together, and I could see a great deal of love between them. ``John Kennedy Jr. was one of the most terrific young men I've ever met. I thought he could be anything he decided to be. He had humility, he was kind, he was gracious, and he was knowledgeable. Most important, he had a religious faith, but I think at that time he was searching for something more definite. ``I talked to him in terms of his own personal relationship with God. He was very attentive and he seemed to want to know all about his father and his faith. He asked me, `In this life, where does our own free will end and God's will begin? Are we always responsible for our own actions, or is there a point at which God's will takes over?' '' ``I told him there is a mystery to all of this and that I really didn't know, but that I did know if he had faith in God and put his trust and confidence in Him, He would provide a peace and a joy and settle his life with certainty.'' --The Rev. Billy Graham A Starring Role ``I have had great admiration for the way John lived his life. Yes, he was a fine college actor, and, yes, he could have pursued acting successfully if circumstances had been different. ``At college he seemed to enjoy those hours under different names following different narratives. But more importantly, as John F. Kennedy Jr., he managed to live fully and gracefully, with humor, intelligence and poise under conditions I can only dimly imagine. It is a great loss.'' --John Emigh, theater professor at Brown University, where JFK Jr. performed in The Playboy of the Western World, The Tempest and Short Eyes The Hunk ``His movie-star facade intrigued people. He was great to look at! He tried to be as unassuming as he could, but he was an Adonis walking around.'' --Carol Wallace, managing editor of People Magazine, which declared JFK Jr. ``The Sexiest Man Alive'' The John-John Years ``As a child, he was so enthusiastic about life. He always ran, never walked. He was always falling and would always get righted by an adult and would promptly fall again.'' --Letitia Baldrige, White House social secretary to Jacqueline Kennedy A `Regular' Guy ``I've interviewed more than 40,000 people in a 42-year career. One of the things that stood out about JFK Jr. was how truly regular he was. When we were finished, he put on a backpack over his suit jacket, walked two blocks to Union Station in Washington and took a 10:30 p.m. train home to New York with his then-girlfriend, Carolyn Bessette. He treated everybody with kindness. He also laughed a lot, a quality common to all Kennedys. They have great senses of humor.'' --Larry King, host of Larry King Live and a USA Today columnist The Epitome of Style ``I think they (John and Carolyn Bessette Kennedy) were teachers of how to live with grace and style and with being celebrities.'' --Designer Donna Karan Professor's Praise ``You would like to have a roomful of Laurens.'' --Daniel McGowan, a Hobart and William Smith College professor who gave Lauren Bessette an A in ``Monetary Theory and Policy,'' to The New York Observer Love and Loss ``The John Kennedy I met at the White House was elegant and eloquent--a man who had lost so much as a child, but who went on to live a life filled with love, adventure, accomplishment and, as he said, `relative normalcy.' '' --First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton Random Acts of Kindness ``Maybe 15 years ago I was walking in midtown Manhattan and there was a homeless man sitting in the street. John-John was there walking with a friend, and he stopped and gave the man some coins. It was just a kind gesture. He walked on, but I've followed his career ever since. So I had to come down here with my flowers.'' --Francesco Carter, a 44-year-old New Yorker who paid respects Thursday at the flower-laden entrance to the apartment of JFK Jr. and Carolyn Bessette Kennedy Flawless Human Being ``He really was his mother's son: He had dignity, style, grace and an incredible amount of compassion and sensitivity on a person-to-person basis. What's interesting about JFK Jr. is, if he had any flaws, I haven't been able to find them.'' --Christopher Andersen, author of the best-selling Jack and Jackie, Jackie After Jack and the upcoming Bill and Hillary A Former Flame ``I find it so hard to believe that John is gone. But now we must face reality and embrace the memory of his spirit and his voracious lust for life, which will live on. My heart goes out to both families.'' --Actress Darryl Hannah, who once dated JFK Jr. A Heavyweight Friend ``My heart and thoughts go out to the Kennedy-Bessette families. John was a great man and a friend of mine. I enjoyed talking with John about the history of his family, the historic family that it is. And he really enjoyed talking with me about the history of boxing. He came out on my behalf, and that was truly out of friendship.'' --Boxer Mike Tyson, visited in jail by JFK Jr. this year Using His Might for Right ``Several weeks ago, I met with John Jr. and about 100 of his young staffers in New York for an editorial meeting at his publication, George Magazine. He was exciting, full of life and focused on the future. In some ways, he was following in the footsteps of his family, many of whom used the family's wealth for the nation's health and for reaching out. In their success, they did not use their wealth for just private gratification. They have used their wealth to fight for public policy and the common people.'' --The Rev. Jesse Jackson Family Ties ``I met him once--he was interviewing me for George Magazine. It was just him, me and a tape recorder. And he was so thoughtful. I expected a pretty face and a dim brain, and I got a pretty face and a bright brain. ``He was most interested in the fact that both our fathers had been in Congress, and did I think they would go into politics again given the media today. It was something he clearly had spent a great deal of time thinking about. I do think our fathers would go into politics, but for reasons that have much more to do with them than the times. But it was clearly something he had been puzzling, meditating over. ``The second thing he told me--he was newly married at the time--was that he was surprised by the media attention his wife was getting, that he was seeing the world through the eyes of a normal person for the first time and seeing how odd his life had been. It was normal to him, but he was surprised by how undone she was by it all. `She didn't ask for it. All she did was marry me,' he said.'' --Cokie Roberts, ABC broadcaster and daughter of Rep. Hale Boggs, D-La., who died in the crash of a small plane __ [From Time Magazine, July 26, 1999] Grace Under the Glare (By Peggy Noonan) We keep saying goodbye to big pieces of the century, and this last is just too sad and unjust. What would have become of that unfinished life? What would have come of that promise? Let me tell you what it was like to see him. I was in a restaurant last Thursday in Manhattan with a small group of friends who were catching up and arguing politics. Suddenly some invisible shift happened, some peripheral force entered the room--a tall man in sunglasses hobbling toward a back table. He moved briskly, as if he hoped no one would notice. ``There's J.F.K. Jr.'' said one of the women at the table. We watched, and I looked around to watch the people watching. The place had gone quieter, and a man stopped, fork in midair, as he passed. I thought, what a star, a natural star. I thought I was looking at the kind of beauty that movie stars want and are supposed to have but don't. A face just old enough to be interesting and young enough to be perfect, with the kind of manly features that make you think of the handsome man in a 1950s magazine ad. Thick, shiny black hair, a slim muscular body on which his dark suit draped in soft folds. Afterward, I wondered if it was something like what Scott Fitzgerald saw when he remembered the college football stars of his young manhood, those young men who just then, on the gridiron and in their youth, were having the best moment of their lives. He was on crutches because he'd recently broken or sprained his ankle. And as we all walked away, a friend of his said to me, ``Maurice worries about him flying that plane.'' Maurice Templesman, Jackie Onassis' longtime friend. ``He's afraid John is too . . .'' She couldn't think of the word, but it was something like distracted, scattered. And now it's Saturday morning, and I'm thinking of the crutches and the hobbling and wondering if he was, as is reported, piloting the plane, if he could maneuver the rudder pedals, and if he could do what he thought he could do because he knew how to do it, and was confident, and wasn't concerned. You'd think he would be, coming from the family he comes from. You'd think he'd be always concerned about safety and luck and fate. But maybe when you were J.F.K. Jr., so surrounded by tragedy, with a life so shaped by it, maybe you thought, ``We've had our share. We've had more than our share. I'm going to get in a plane and fly.'' You can come from a place of such bad luck that you think your luck will always hold. His father lived a life of meaning and drama, a heroic life that spanned less than 50 years and yet encompassed war and political tumult and the great ideological struggles of the day. J.F.K. Jr.'s life spanned 39 years--only seven fewer than his father's--and encompassed no such dramas as war and wrenching political struggle. His dramas were personal, not historic, but then so much more was expected of him. Wouldn't he live a giant life too? What kind of man will King Arthur's son be? He knew about the expectations, and one supposes they were the central trauma of his life. He seemed to hobble through the search for a while--actor, lawyer, person in politics, and then, editor. Of a magazine on politics. But one that treated politics as entertainment. As if he were detaching himself from the heaviness of political struggles, and the tragedies they can bring. Now it will be a mystery, what he would have become with a good long life. His friends say he was modest, deeply courteous--very much his mother's son--and intelligent, and funny. People liked him, he had good stuff in there, not only beauty and good genes. The few times I saw him refer to politics in an interview, he did it with what seemed a natural humility. He didn't seem to think he ought to be harrumphing from the floor of the House about what we're doing wrong as a people, or right. If you didn't know him, you wondered whether life had been too strange and soft to mold him into a harder person, one who could move into the world with force and meaning, marshaling all the things he had to make a difference. But that takes time. You wonder what he would have done if he had got it. He was born with the burden of fame, but he handled it with patience and humor, and more. Ben Bradlee wrote a book about President Kennedy after he died, and it is called That Special Grace. J.F.K. Jr. had it too, though history didn't give him wars and great movements in which to show it. But he showed it anyway. Not so long ago, the day his mother was buried, after the prayers and the graveside service at Arlington, when everyone was starting to leave, young John Kennedy stepped up to the casket of his mother and the gravestone of his father. He leaned forward and stretched toward them and put his hand upon each with a touch that was more like a kiss. It was an act of great physical grace, and love, and maybe it was done in part on behalf of a country that felt as he did--a generous gesture like the one 30 years before when a little boy made a salute. __ [From Time Magazine, July 26, 1999] Brought Up to Be a Good Man (By Arthur Schlesinger Jr.) How far might he have gone? There has always been a tendency to see John F. Kennedy Jr. as John-John, the sobriquet the press bestowed on him when he was a little boy in the White House. Those bewitched by the John-John idea saw the grown man as a frivolous young fellow floating carelessly on the pleasures of life. In fact, J.F.K. Jr. detested the nickname and was not a man fulfilled by pleasure-floating. But he cherished his privacy and disdained defensive self-publicity. Jacqueline Kennedy was a wonderful single mother. She was determined to maintain her children's privacy in order to make their lives as normal as possible. They were brought up unspoiled, modest, hardworking, well-mannered, friendly to their contemporaries, courteous to their elders. And they had on their own an abundance of vitality, charm and good looks. Educated in private schools, young John Kennedy went on to Brown, where he seemed to contemplate a career on the stage, and then, changing course, to New York University Law School. He worked for Robert Morgenthau in the district attorney's office, had trouble passing his bar examination, frequented downtown night spots and figured in gossip columns. He was a magically handsome young man, irresistible to women--``the hunk,'' the press called him. People dismissed him as a charming lightweight. This was his protective pose. Underneath he was an earnest fellow with a high sense of legacy and responsibility. In any case, the Kennedys have always been late bloomers. I once ran into him on the shuttle to Washington. He was going to a meeting at the White House on the problem of access to higher education for boys and girls from the slums. He talked about this with surprising knowledge and enthusiasm. I had not heard anything previously about his interest in such matters. I learned later that he also headed Reaching Up, an organization dedicated to helping hospital orderlies, nursing aides and others. He was genuinely concerned about the young, the disabled and the homeless. His instinct was to do good by stealth, lest people think he was doing good for publicity. He grew to be an impressive young man--intelligent, articulate, judicious, persuasive, well defined but never full of himself, exceptionally attractive. He invented George as the Vanity Fair formula applied to politics, and he steered the magazine in a resolutely nonpartisan course. He loved the editorial work, loved conducting interviews with everyone from Fidel Castro to George Wallace, loved the variety and eccentricity of American politics. He was not a front man but patrolled every aspect of the job. His staff admired and adored him. But one felt it was a transitional stage for him. He seemed to be edging into politics. His father had begun as a journalist; it is not a bad introduction to the American political labyrinth. J.F.K. Jr. cared too much about the state of the nation, especially about the increasing disparities of wealth and opportunity in American life, to live out his life as a spectator. He was a cautious man, methodically feeling his way, but I think he sensed an evident opportunity and acknowledged a dynastic responsibility. He was destined, I came to feel, for political leadership. Stoical about scandalmongering books about his family and gossip-column misinformation about himself, he was as determined as his mother to protect his personal privacy. That is why he took up flying. When he traveled on commercial aircraft, fellow passengers would ask questions, seek autographs, exchange memories. He understood that they were people of good will, and he could not bear to be impolite, but the benign interest of others was a burden. Once he got his flying license, he seemed a liberated man, free to travel as he wished without superfluous demands on time and energy. Nor was he a reckless pilot. The mystery of his death remains. It is one more stab at the heart of America. There is an echo of Greek tragedy about the succession of blows striking a single American family. So many Kennedys have been cruelly cut off before they had fulfilled themselves--Joe Jr., my Harvard classmate, killed in the war; John and Robert, cherished friends, assassinated; two of Robert's sons dead; now John's son, the golden boy. The night that John Kennedy died, a friend took Robert Kennedy to his bedroom. ``God, it's so awful,'' Robert said. ``Everything was really beginning to run so well.'' He seemed under control. The friend closed the door, then heard Bob break down and cry, ``Why, God?'' Was there no sense, no purpose, to the universe? Later R.F.K. scrawled on a yellow sheet, ``The innocent suffer--how can that be possible and God be just?'' He found solace in Aeschylus, memorizing the lines from the Agamemnon that he would use when Martin Luther King Jr. was killed: ``He who learns must suffer. And even in our sleep pain that cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart, and in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom to us by the awful grace of God.'' For the Kennedys, faith comes as the ultimate solace. As President Kennedy once told a press conference, ``Life is unfair.'' __ [From Time Magazine, July 26, 1999] The Boy We Called John-John (By Hugh Sidey) He was our child, our little boy, flitting in and out of camera range around the White House when his dad was President. He did grow up and become that elegant New York City editor, John F. Kennedy Jr., the clan's flag bearer of what was good and glamorous. But I never could get over the memories around the White House. The world, of course, remembered him as the three-year-old standing in front of his father's coffin after the services in St. Matthew's Cathedral in Washington and lifting his chubby arm in salute. He knew, but maybe he did not know. Millions never forgot. Before that, he tugged at his mother's pearls when she held him and squirmed in his father's lap when the President, who could not lift the boy because of his bad back, could corral him for a few seconds. There were times when walking by the Oval Office, I would see John-John hopping around on the carpet with his sister Caroline, his father clapping or laughing at the display. He came by the presidential desk on Halloween as ``Peter Panda,'' and J.F.K. broke up with laughter at the spook. The special quality about young John Kennedy then may have been simply that he was so normal, so much like our own kids, allowed a childhood because of the insistence of his mother Jackie Kennedy and in spite of the formidable environs of the presidential mansion. When he could navigate to the Oval Office on his own two energetic legs, John-John discovered the candy dish on the desk of Evelyn Lincoln, the President's secretary. She recounted to me with great glee how the President tried to enforce the rule of one piece of candy per visit. The rule never worked. The Kennedys have lived their lives on a vast public stage where children run and tussle and accomplished grownups gather for strenuous rituals of work and play amid the gaiety and laughter. And then death steps in to stop the proceedings, again and again. There seems to be no respite in this horrible ritual. John Jr.'s death will only heighten the memories of the Kennedy years in the presidency, the core of the legend, years when the cold war was at its most intense and there was danger in the world, years when bright young men and women flocked to Washington to take part in the New Frontier. I remember Dallas, but I still don't begin to comprehend it. I heard the shots from the motorcade and then wandered on the lawn of Parkland Hospital throughout that afternoon as the bulletins confirmed the death of a President. So much had ended. A President had been assassinated, an Administration was finished, a family had been decimated and a friend of mine had died. But when all was said and done in those sad days, the focus fell on the family and the question of how it would fare in a world grown worshipful--and brutally curious. Jackie and Caroline and John went off to live their lives in the shadowed wings of the great stage, but Bobby Kennedy and his brother Ted stayed in the center. The Kennedy clan marched on, and I watched as Bobby, the new Senator from New York, healed one more time from family tragedy and with mounting enthusiasm pointed himself toward the White House. I was awakened by a phone call early one morning in 1968, and a friend in the White House told me that Bobby had been shot. We plunged back into that abyss of mourning not only for a life lost and a family devastated again, but for a promise never fulfilled in our national life. And now John. He was not a figure of power like his father, somebody to be hated because of his political persuasion. Nor did he have that reckless streak in him that Bobby had, which compelled the uncle to fly through hailstorms for political appointments or dive into dangerous seas to get ashore faster. He was John-John, a normal kid turned young man turned adult who was sensible and kind and concerned, but burdened with the great Kennedy legend and the world with its nose pressed against his windows. There will always be the warm memories. I was in the Oval Office one day back then, and when I walked up to the President's desk I heard giggling and thumping underneath. John-John was in what he called his cave. Once when he peeked out and White House photographers got the picture, there was another image that traveled around the world: the reduction of great power to its simplest ingredient, a tiny boy exploring his world from the ground up. Though we did not always see the pictures of John-John that were taken backstage by Captain Cecil Stoughton, the official White House photographer, we heard the stories of the young ham. When he lost a front tooth, he proudly looked up at Stoughton to show the great gap. Indeed, Stoughton and John- John became buddies of a sort. The photographer knew a good subject when he saw one and realized that someday history would treasure those images. John-John liked the captain's company, so much so that often when he saw Stoughton he would squeal, ``Take my picture Taptain Toughton.'' And once when Stoughton had snapped a frame of John-John playing with a rabbit, he asked if the boy would take a picture of him with the rabbit. John-John took the camera with relish and clicked the shutter like a pro. In Stoughton's book The Memories, that one is the only photograph that the captain did not take. It is now another fragment of the profound Kennedy story of promise and fun and unfathomable sadness. __ [From The New Yorker Magazine, August 2, 1999] Coming of Age in Public (By Pete Hamill) Sixteen is a terrible age for any male. You are not yet a man and no longer a boy. But for John Kennedy this wonderfully anguished age was even worse. He had to endure the scrutiny of strangers, friends, teachers, and even relatives, along with the hungers of the celebrity press. The astonishment was that he handled all of that, as an adolescent and as a man, with so much grace. During the late nineteen-seventies, when I first knew John, we would meet at the apartment at 1040 Fifth Avenue and talk in the sitting room that faced the Park. Most of the time it was small talk: what he was studying in school and how the teachers were and what books they had ordered him to read. He was not some driven apprentice intellectual, tormented by the quest for meaning. He talked about matters in a groping, self-deprecating way and usually had many more questions than answers. ``I just don't get this Thomas Hardy,'' he said to me once, shaking his head, and then smiling. ``Is that me? Or is it Thomas Hardy?'' On a few occasions, we took long walks through Central Park, where even then his face was turning heads. He asked many questions about newspapers and the craft of reporting. He displayed one most admirable quality: he did not attempt to appear smarter or hipper than he actually was. His questions were direct and free of guile. ``You mean you go, say, to a murder scene, and you make your notes, and then you go back to the paper and write the story?'' ``If there's time,'' I said. ``If there's not enough time, you dictate your notes to a rewrite man, and then he writes the story.'' ``Wow, that's cool,'' he said. When I saw him and his sister, Caroline, together, there was an obvious affection between them. He would enter their apartment with a pair of his friends--what his mother once called ``these big hairy galoots''--and always seemed about to knock over at least one piece of furniture. Caroline would ease over and get between him and the potential casualty, and wink. I don't mean that John Kennedy was an ordinary sixteen- year-old American boy; his personal history made such a role impossible. One of his relatives told me once that he was tormented by some questions, ones he had certainly never asked me. Does she love me for myself or because of my name? If I were Joe Blow, would she take my call? There's a soap-opera banality to such questions, but that doesn't make them less real to a young man. In the nineteen-eighties, our lives took different paths and I didn't see him for years. When he founded George, in 1995, I remembered his voice saying long ago, ``Wow, that's cool.'' There he was on television, talking to Larry King, and he was a man now, handsome, poised, articulate, and funny. He was respectful of the Kennedy family history, but he did not sentimentalize it. As a journalist, of course, he did not make notes and hurry to the office to write the story. But he did a series of solid interviews for the magazine, often with people who would have been sworn enemies of his father. In each interview, he seemed to be making a genuine effort to understand his subjects rather than debate them or demean them. He was still in a peculiar situation: a journalist who covered other people while being covered himself. But at thirty-eight, in the last year of the century in which his father had been a central political and emotional figure, John Kennedy was most often identified as the editor of George rather than as his father's son. That alone was a triumph. It looked as if we might get to the end of the century without another Kennedy death and another Kennedy funeral. Maybe that's why when the news broke that John Kennedy's Piper Saratoga had gone missing I was jolted back to November 22, 1963. That day, I was in Belfast with my father, who had not been home to Northern Ireland for thirty years. My father wept. My cousins wept. The Falls Road mourned, and so did the Shankill. The handsome prince of the Irish diaspora was dead. And one line of Yeats kept moving through me: ``What made us dream that he could comb grey hair?'' At the end of last week, at the memorial service at St. Thomas More, John's uncle Ted recalled that same line. __ [From The New Yorker Magazine, August 2, 1999] The Actor (By Rick Moody) I went to college with the most famous teen-ager on earth. Brown University in the fall of 1979 was not unacquainted with celebrity. There was a Mondale there; one of Claus Von Bulow's stepchildren; Amy Carter came not long after. But my class's particular celebrity was of a different order altogether. It was Freshman Week, and I was busy drinking so much that I was about to be reported to the dean's office for alcohol abuse. But even in my disagreeable state I was aware of the reports, and their furious pace. ``Oh my God, you cannot believe how good-looking the guy is,'' said one. ``He likes to be called John,'' said another. ``He's in my history class.'' Celebrity aggrandizes the shallowest layer of narrative. Even so, I can tell you everything about my first sighting: It was in the dining hall. There was a commotion at a nearby table. A tall, perfectly handsome guy in jeans and a Hawaiian shirt; a smile like a million bucks. An elbow next to me lanced me in the ribs. ``That's him, that's him.'' I saw the most famous teen-ager on earth get seconds of pizza. I spent most of freshman year in the West Quadrangle (a friend nicknamed it Gdansk, for its Eastern Bloc heartlessness), far from his more palatial dorm, with its high ceilings and large windows, and I saw little of him, just the occasional glimpse. I suspected that the other Brown University, the one that featured mythic celebrities driving imported cars to off-campus apartments and swank restaurants, was a parallel realm, wholly inaccessible, without entrances and exits for hoi polloi like me. I had contempt for the residents of that celestial Brown. They always played Motown at parties, and always the same songs. Here the story would end, if not for the fact that I got interested in theatre at Brown. I decided to audition for a play that was gathering steam in late fall of junior year, ``In the Boom Boom Room,'' by David Rabe. It had parts for a good- looking and somewhat dangerous leading man, his moll, and his drug-casualty sidekick. John, the President's son, who had a jones to act, it was said, auditioned for the lead. I auditioned for the sidekick. I remember reading with him. The details are hazy, but my sensation of incredible agitation is not--my voice locked in a hopeless struggle with vowels and consonants. I was in the presence of history. John was trapped in history's clutches; it was his constant companion, like a metaphysical Secret Service. And history had never before crossed my path. As it happened, we both got the parts. As an actor, he had imbibed the Method without ever having set foot in the Actors Studio--a little Brando, a little De Niro, a healthy dollop of Nicholson, maybe a dash of his dad's inaugural pluck. I wasn't aware of his preparing his role in any way. I don't know if he learned his lines with the difficulty I did; like a lot of other things, it seemed easier for him. I don't remember that we ever did any improvising, or much at all in the way of acting exercises, except to dance wildly to ``You've Lost That Loving' Feelin' '' and ``Hang On Sloopy'' in the empty rehearsal space. John showed up ready to act, and when the time came he delivered his lines with brio, with uncanny reserves of charisma. What's the surprise in this? He'd been acting his entire life. One performance after another; here a proscenium, here a plinth on which to stand for Camelot and its sorrows. After a couple of weeks of rehearsals, John had taken to treating me like his sidekick offstage, in a fashion that I found honorific and not at all beneath me. He started calling me by my character's name, Ralphie, whether we encountered one another on the green or at the movies, and he would occasionally invite me to have lunch with him--``Ralphie, what's up, my man?'' A cup of coffee here and there. In the course of this, I got to know not John Kennedy, heir apparent, but this guy John, extremely winning, to be sure, but more like other people than other people suspected: not known to refuse a joint if it came around, liked rock and roll (turned it up), didn't always pay his parking tickets on time, had the occasional woman problem, a guy like any guy in Providence then. As the performances approached, Santina Goodman, who directed the play, wanted John to cut off his hair. There was a lot of it, this hair, and it curled languorously and, I think, probably occasionally stopped traffic. So John showed up one night at rehearsal with a barbarous crewcut. It had a military severity. He was incredibly excited about it. ``Ralphie,'' he said, ``I went into a bar last night and no one knew who I was!'' He said it the way you or I might speak of the lotto jackpot. About the same time, John announced that his family was coming to opening night. As the evening in question approached, it turned out that his mother was unable to attend but Caroline, his sister, would represent the illustrious clan. That was plenty of geopolitical context for me, but I never mentioned my sense of proximal nervousness to John. I never said anything much to him at all, because the sidekick's job is to see and to observe, to be reliable and silent and faithful. So I was. On opening night, during the end of the first act, when we were both backstage, in the stillness of waiting for glory, we heard a particularly robust laugh from the audience, singular and confident and warm. John leaned over and whispered, ``That's my sister. That's Caroline.'' On closing night, John had a cast party, at his place. It was down on Benefit Street, the restored nineteenth-century part of Providence, and his apartment was decorated--things matched, there were tasteful furnishings and appointments. Who could I bring to such a place? I was hanging out with people who drank too much and wore too much black eyeliner. There were large social issues implicit in his invitation. I was being plucked, for a moment, from oblivion, and my feelings were mixed. I saw him occasionally after that. I had been granted some minimal access, and I saw him for lunch once or twice, went to a couple of parties among his inner circle, ran into him. ``Fame is the spur that the clear spirit doth raise . . . To scorn delights, and live laborious days,'' Milton says, lamenting a friend lost at sea--a much different idea of fame from ours now. Maybe it was John's idea--by studying acting, he was gaining another set of skills to pursue what he was going to pursue, in his laborious days. Yet we among the rubberneckers failed to see how much responsibility there was in such a life; we thought it was just play acting. Soon we were ready to graduate. The Secret Service, who had never been much in evidence during John's education, fanned out across the grounds. Jackie arrived. My brother snapped her picture. She smiled. There were crowds. Providence sweltered. I had a wicked hangover. We'd loved, danced, been mummers on the stage of youth. Now we were a bunch of kids going on to other things. In this way, John Kennedy's public life commenced. __ [From The New Yorker Magazine, August 2, 1999] TriBeCa Waits for Normalcy (By John Seabrook) When you're as famous as John F. Kennedy Jr., everyone claims you as a neighbor. Having ``grown up with him,'' even if it was only on television, these pseudo-neighbors approached Kennedy wherever he went in the world with ``Hey, John-John!'' or ``How's your wife?'' or ``When're you going to pass the bar?'' It is therefore especially remarkable what a good neighbor Kennedy managed to be to the people who really did live around him, in TriBeCa, where he made his home for most of the last decade of his life, eventually buying a loft at 20 North Moore. TriBeCa offers its famous inhabitants anonymity (David Letterman, who also kept a loft there, was almost never seen on the street), but J.F.K., Jr., did not accept it; he was as visible a part of the neighborhood as almost anyone. You'd see him riding his bike to work with a big steel chain wrapped around his suit jacket, like an urban knight. He walked with his head down, but, wanting to be neighborly, he would often make contact by saying hi to people's dogs. Later, he got his own dog, Friday, and you'd always see him out on the street with it, sometimes carrying the dog on his shoulders. Kennedy ate out a lot, often at Socrates, the Greek coffee shop at Hudson and Franklin that locals cherish as part of the unvarnished soul of old TriBeCa. George Dourountous, the owner, said that Kennedy used to try out his rusty Greek on him. It was sort of amazing to walk by the coffee shop and see that face there, under the ratty picture of Socrates (the great philosopher looks like Hyman Roth in ``The Godfather, Part II''), reading his Post and eating his eggs. Kennedy's neighborliness was a little startling when you thought about all the reasons he had to be apprehensive of strangers. Don Schuck, a longtime TriBeCan who lives a few doors down from No. 20, remembered how Kennedy used to stash an extra front-door key under his stoop, because he was always forgetting his keys. Some residents worried that Kennedy's presence on North Moore would change the character of TriBeCa. But he impressed them by helping to preserve the integrity of the place. When it was announced that developers were seeking permission from the Landmarks Preservation Commission to turn the old Atalanta warehouse, across the street from 20 North Moore, into a multiplex, Kennedy gave time and money to the neighborhood opposition, going before Community Board 1 to argue that a multiplex, with its lines of moviegoers from outside the neighborhood, teen-agers hanging around at all hours, noise, and traffic, was not in keeping with the character of the place that he and his neighbors thought of as home. The multiplex was never built. Now there's a shrine outside 20 North Moore, where long lines of J.F.K., Jr.'s pseudo-neighbors come to leave flowers, candles, and notes. Singers perform there during the day, dancers dance, and teen-agers hang around, drawn by a melodrama more compelling than anything at a multiplex, at least since ``Titanic.'' (Even the name of a bar around the corner, ``No Moore,'' seems to conspire in the melodrama.) A pseudo- neighbor, seeing a real neighbor go into No. 20, was heard to say, ``Do people really live in that building? I thought it was just a shrine.'' The crowd has been growing larger every day. On Tuesday night, when Vice-President Al Gore was at a fund- raiser at the TriBeCa Film Center, the word went around that he was planning to stop by the shrine afterward. At that point, one could foresee all the major candidates having to pay their respects to the unfinished metal doors and rat-infested garbage cans outside 20 North Moore. But Gore never showed, and the neighborhood breathed a sigh of relief. __ [From Time Magazine, August 2, 1999] A Legacy of Public Service (By Walter Isaacson, Managing Editor) John Kennedy's death unleashed a wave of public emotion and a predictable flood of media coverage. Indeed, it would not be too churlish to ask why--other than being a nice guy and a good-looking celebrity with a historically resonant heritage-- Kennedy deserved such an outpouring. So in putting together this issue, we looked for a worthwhile lesson we could draw both from the way he lived and the emotions wrought by his death. We decided that the most useful way to honor him was to explore what made him and, despite their tragedies and foibles, his whole family so distinctive: their strong tradition of public service. In particular, we wanted to look at the way John and some of his generation of Kennedys were finding less traditional ways to pursue worthy causes. A few months ago, he was at a fund-raising breakfast for the Robin Hood Foundation, a group that taps Manhattan money for neighborhood projects. There he toasted Hans and Ivan Hageman, two childhood friends from East Harlem who had, with Robin Hood seed money, founded a remedial school and counseling program. John recalled first meeting them 30 years ago. ``These guys were larger than life,'' he said, ``and they behaved in such a way that we all knew they were destined to do something important with their lives.'' Much the same could be said of John. Although he gracefully bore the public role that birth assigned him, he preferred acting in a quieter, more hands-on way. He would ride his bike, or occasionally blade, to visit the Hagemans' school in East Harlem and other neighborhoods seldom frequented by those whose celebrity or wealth affords them the protection of limos and entourages. Others on the Robin Hood board say he loved holding their meetings in the roughest neighborhoods, though he generally deferred to their desire for more convenient midtown locations. This month's session was scheduled for last Wednesday in his office. At the breakfast we talked about whether he would enter politics. He said he had been approached about running for the Senate but had firmly declined. He wasn't ready; he hadn't yet earned the chance. Besides, there were more interesting and perhaps useful ways to serve, including through his magazine, George, which he felt could help make public service seem glamorous again, and his charity work. He was quick to add that politics should be considered a noble calling, that he might run for something someday. But instead of a legislative job, like the Senate, he said he would prefer serving in an executive capacity. Not yet, though. He liked his life the way it was now. His wife Carolyn smiled. In this issue, we look at the way John and other members of his family have been involved in public service. Some, like his Uncle Ted and cousins Kathleen and Patrick, are doing it in the traditional family way through politics. Others, like John and some of his cousins, have followed the example of their aunts in pursuing private endeavors. Like John, they have helped redefine that tradition through an asphalt-level, intimate involvement. Coincidentally, our essayist Roger Rosenblatt had been working for weeks on a piece about Robert Kennedy Jr. and his group, Riverkeeper, which is cleaning up the Hudson River. It is part of our continuing environment series on heroes for the Planet. We are happy to include it and its accompanying profiles in this issue to show how so many others are also engaged in the type of hands-on public service work that marked John's life. From birth, John seemed to be surrounded by light. As the New York Observer noted last week, he always seemed to keep his bearings in that glare, as if guided by an inner compass. That is why it is so painful to think of his final minute as he desperately tried to find his bearings in the unaccustomed darkness, searching for a light to restore that inner compass. Now, perhaps, the memory of his life can serve as a light for others, as a point of reference on our horizons. __ [From Time Magazine, August 2, 1999] Answering the Call (By John Cloud) It would have been so easy for him just to write a check. People who write checks--at least those of the size he could afford--nibble foie gras at fancy fund raisers and cut ribbons at buildings named for them. Checks are simple. But John Kennedy Jr. never took a simple path to public service. Not at 15, when he and his cousin Timothy Shriver trekked to Guatemala to help earthquake survivors rebuild. Not in his 20s, when he helped devise a program to improve treatment for the disabled that started in gritty New York City neighborhoods and is now being copied overseas. And not when a charity he worked with wanted to know how kids in a drug- prevention program were faring, and Kennedy went to talk with some himself. In many ways he embodied a new, entrepreneurial kind of Kennedy philanthropy. It doesn't diminish the Shrivers' Special Olympics or Jacqueline Onassis' fund raising for Grand Central Terminal to note that John practiced a hands-on generosity that reflects a younger generation of givers, folks impressed more by proved outcomes than by black-tie benefits. Take the group that could be Kennedy's most important legacy, even if George survives. He founded Reaching Up in 1987, two years after his aunt Eunice Shriver initiated one of those peculiarly Kennedy intrafamily competitions. She assigned the Kennedy kids the task of inventing projects to help people with mental disabilities, a cause she and her siblings had long championed. The kids would vote on who had designed the best proposals, and a family foundation would award the winning ideas $50,000 apiece. John threw himself into the work, interviewing experts and reading academic literature. Rather than finding a needy hospital to toss cash at, he discovered a mostly ignored problem, the inadequate education and dismal pay of frontline workers in mental health. They are working poor, without health insurance or hope of mobility, yet they care for people like Kennedy's aunt Rosemary, left deeply retarded by a lobotomy, as well as millions of others with disabilities. ``What he understood,'' says Deborah Shanley, a Brooklyn College dean, ``is that you're never going to have quality care if the people in this field can't afford to get into undergraduate programs, can't elevate their skills and have no hope of moving up the career ladder.'' Kennedy developed a program of elegant practicality that became a $50,000 winner. Reaching Up helps health-care workers help themselves through training programs it has persuaded local officials to fund at several New York colleges. Hundreds have learned to do their jobs better through the training, and many have been promoted as a result. Kennedy also lent the family name--and with it, a measure of respect--to the Kennedy Fellows, a group of 75 health-care workers chosen each year for $1,000 scholarships. ``But it wasn't just the money,'' says Margaret Wallace, who emigrated from Jamaica in 1980 and was a poorly paid teacher's assistant for the blind before becoming a Kennedy Fellow in 1992. John was personally involved, ``asking, how is the course work, what job do I want to do, what's my future?'' Wallace got a degree in special education last year and now teaches those with cerebral palsy. Nearly all the 400 fellows over the years have stayed in the disabilities field. Reaching Up was the culmination of years of experimenting with public service. When Kennedy was younger, he dabbled in groups his mother supported and embarked on vaguely beneficent adventures in Africa and elsewhere. In 1985 he studied health care at the University of Delhi in India. Trouble was, when he asked himself what he could do for his country, he didn't quite know the answer. The day after Kennedy passed the bar exam in 1990, family friend Ted Van Dyk phoned him at his desk in the Manhattan D.A.'s office. ``I said, `How do you like it there?' And he said, `Oh, it stinks. I'm just going to do this for a while to meet my family's expectations, and then I'm going to do something else.' '' As John grew older, ``he became less flip about things,'' says Richard Wiese, a fraternity brother from Brown University. ``He was always socially conscious, but he matured [and] was starting to put some of his assets to use.'' __ [From Time Magazine, August 2, 1999] Goodbye to Our Boy (By Garrison Keillor) After the initial disbelief, the hope against hope that the three of them might be spotted on some tiny island waving, the anger at what one could see as his foolhardiness in flying at night into hazy conditions with his wife and her sister aboard, the morbid thought of their last minutes, the aching sadness of it all, the archival film footage of the children romping at the White House and the little boy's salute and all the mawkish elegies on television, it was a comfort finally to watch the U.S.S. Briscoe raise anchor and put out to sea Thursday morning with the ashes and the families of the dead on board. There was a rightness about it, as there was about the profound competence of the Federal Aviation Administration, the Coast Guard, the Navy, the divers, tracking the plane from radar records, scanning the ocean floor, locating the wreckage, bringing up the bodies, a great mercy. And now, with the U.S. Navy in charge, you knew that there would be some simple grandeur and decorum at the end. The crashed pilot would be released to the elements, and the young women who perished with him, and it would take place beyond the public gaze, without narration or comment, out on the sea. He was a most romantic figure, a hero endowed with a legend when he was three years old, for which there was no precedent in our history, a hero sprung up from tragedy, the son of the murdered President bearing his name whose life was meant in our minds to redeem that evil day in Dallas. I doubt that there were many Americans who didn't want the best for John F. Kennedy Jr. And when his plane was reported missing on Saturday morning, although there was no precedent, no justification, for television to maintain the vigil that it did, there was a rightness about it. He was our boy. We had a right to stand on the shore and grieve for him. For days the reporters stood their posts at Hyannis Port and on Martha's Vineyard, as the old photographs were brought out again and again, and the reporters looked into the camera to say, at some length, that there was no news to report but that it was terribly sad, which is not journalism exactly, but there was a rightness about it. The TV anchors and correspondents are like old uncles and aunts who come to the house after a death in the family and plop down in the living room and say, ``I just can't believe it somehow.'' You don't expect them to be cogent; you are just grateful for their company. We often accuse ourselves of being cruel and voyeuristic and of devouring our heroes, but this man was loved, genuinely, by people who didn't know him and weren't anxious to. It would have been heartbreaking to see him turn up on talk shows to explain himself. We wanted him to be distant. The press--even the ferocious iconoclasts of the tabloids--gave him room. He sowed his wild oats and went nightclubbing and hung out with inappropriate women, and nobody begrudged him this. Of course, he was lucky to live in New York City, whose citizens are proud of their ability to recognize famous people and ignore them at the same time. When he wished to exploit his name to start up a magazine, there was no objection to it, though we preferred him to be elusive, a little mysterious. We were glad when he slipped away and married that radiant woman, a person of majestic reticence who never uttered a word in public. It was terribly important that he be adventurous and modest and funny and self-deprecating and charitable to strangers and graceful and full of life, and we believed he was, and we never cared to hear otherwise. He may have been all of those things, as so many people say, or maybe someone will come out with a book showing him to have been not exactly all of those things, but it won't matter. He was what we needed him to be, a classy guy, and the question asked at his death--What might he have become?--was not so important in his lifetime. He was a hero who lived up to his legend, and that is more than good enough. His legend will grow now that he's gone. The pathos of this story, the sense of fate drawing him into its clutches, the broken ankle, his anxiety about the flight, the heavy traffic en route to the airport and the late takeoff, darkness setting in as he flew up the coast, the refusal to turn back, the radio silence, the nearly moonless night, the descent into the mist and the horizonless dark, and the terrible, spiraling fall. ``Show me a hero,'' said F. Scott Fitzgerald, ``and I will write you a tragedy.'' This we all know. Life is terribly beautiful. Life is terrifying. We can't go on. We must go on. We are not in control of this situation. But we never were. __ [From The Weekly Standard, August 2, 1999] ``That Discourtesy of Death'' (By John McCain) Two months ago, I was invited to participate with John Kennedy, his sister, Caroline, Sen. Ted Kennedy, and several other members of the family in the annual Profile in Courage Award events at the Kennedy Presidential Library. As it happened, the award ceremony occurred on the eleventh birthday of my youngest son, Jimmy. Ted Kennedy went to considerable lengths to make sure the birthday was publicly noted and celebrated. Jimmy reacted to the attention as most kids his age would, with a mixture of pleasure and embarrassment. All the Kennedys present were very kind to my son. But John and his lovely bride, Carolyn, were especially so. They talked with him in a quietly playful way that Jimmy appreciated as much as my wife Cindy and I appreciated John's compliments for raising a nice boy and for choosing Arizona over Washington as our children's home. Cindy and I left Boston grateful for the experience and impressed by how gracious and considerate John and Caroline were; how seriously they took their responsibility to honor their father's memory; and how well they reflected the loving care with which their mother had raised them. John Kennedy was a splendid young man. Though we had only a passing acquaintance, I saw, as others did, that it was easy to like him. Given the temptations attending wealth, privilege, and beauty, it would have surprised no one if he had been arrogant and self-centered. But he was quite the opposite. In our encounters, he was friendly, well mannered, and thoughtful, not just to me but to everyone in the room. When, at his invitation, I appeared before his magazine's editorial board, he encouraged the office interns to attend and ask questions, an unusually considerate gesture to them by their editor-in- chief (unless, of course, they were needed to fill seats because I had failed to draw much of a crowd, in which case it was an unusually considerate gesture to me). Were that all I knew of him, I would grieve his loss. But, of course, he was more than that. He was a featured player in one of the more powerful legends in American political life, a legend that most Americans at one time or another have been enamored of, and that now seems inexpressibly sad. The nation grieves for him--an honor accorded relatively few people--and after my brief exposure to him, I understand why. The personal loss of those who knew him well, of course, is immeasurably more painful. It's a cold heart that has no sympathy for the Kennedy family; for Ted Kennedy, who must too often assume the duties of the head of a family on whom fortune and misfortune fall in great and equal measure; and especially for Caroline, who has suffered more loss than anyone of her young age should ever have to bear. The Bessettes, whose broken hearts mourn the staggering loss of two beautiful, accomplished sisters, must know a grief that in this moment is inconsolable. I pray for their comfort, as I pray for the repose of the souls of their loved ones. The older we grow the more accustomed we become to death. And yet there are some whose loss seems impossible to accept. That is true of John Kennedy, who to many of us seemed only yesterday a fatherless 3-year-old. A Yeats poem, ``In Memory of Major Robert Gregory,'' laments the passing at a young age of a ``dear friend's dear son.'' It is inconceivable that this son should now ``share in that discourtesy of death'' alongside friends of the poet's who died in old age. Near the end of the poem, Yeats observes how good a life his young friend made of his too few days, and tries to reconcile himself to the loss with the wistful remark, ``What made us dream that he could comb grey hair?'' Maybe that kind of sentiment is all we have to assuage the nation's, perhaps even the families', grief; that, and the comfort of knowing that John has been reunited with the father he lost long ago and the mother who loved him so well that he became a good man. __ [From People Magazine, Summer 1999] Remembering John Cecil Stoughton, former White House photographer: When he was 2 years old, he fell down and knocked out a tooth. One day I saw this gap-toothed boy playing outside the President's office and asked him to smile and took a photo. A couple of days later, I asked him to autograph it. He made a whole mess of chicken scratches, so I held his hand, and we scratched the name ``John'' in the corner. Recently I saw him at a party and asked him to sign that photo again. ``Mr. Stoughton,'' he wrote, ``now I can sign my own name.'' I would have been proud to have him as a son. Joseph D'Angelo, John's sixth-grade teacher at Manhattan's Collegiate School: Once when we were taking a trip to the Cloisters to look at medieval art, we took the subway uptown. John had never been on a subway before, and he was so excited. He had a million questions and was asking if he could open the window and hang his head outside. Afterward, he was always on his mother's case to ride the subway alone with his friends. Kiki Feroudi Moutsatsos, former secretary to Aristotle Onassis: When I was in New York City with Onassis in the early 1970s, I was robbed and punched by someone. Onassis's driver took me to the family's Fifth Avenue apartment, and John was there. I remember he liked strawberries, and he selected the biggest one he had and gave it to me. He was always happy and loving. Todd Murphy, crewmate during a treasure hunt John joined in 1983: It was a really salty crowd, and he fit in as well as anybody. We'd be in the water waiting to dive and freezing and having this crazy fight, squirting water out between our teeth. He was a character. Rajeev Sethi, Indian artist: When he traveled to India in 1983, I think it must have been his first experience with seeing really severe urban poverty. His response wasn't to cringe away but to dive right in. He wanted to organize English lessons for the children in the slum, and he even gave a few classes. When he later visited a rural project, he returned frustrated because he had wanted to be involved instead of just observing. He said, ``I wish I could have been as useful as the experience was useful for me.'' Owen Carragher, former Manhattan assistant district attorney: When they told me he was going to be my officemate, I wasn't all that happy. I'm a dyed-in-the-wool Republican, and he and I would get in each other's face. And we were on him incessantly about the business of him being the best-dressed guy in the world, especially since most of the time it was one of my ties he was wearing. Charlie King, longtime friend: On the football field he was very competitive. There was one time when he knocked me almost unconscious. It was a random pickup game. I had broken up a pass that was going to John, and it was clear that I was happy about that. Then on the next play, when I was trying to catch a pass, he didn't try to block the pass. He just knocked the s--- out of me. I felt like all the bones in my body had been shattered. He was driven to win. Alec Baldwin, actor: Whenever I was around him, the first thing that would cross my mind was, ``Whatever this guy runs for, he's going to win.'' There was no doubt in my mind that whatever race he ran for, senator or governor, he'd win hands down. And now we'll never know. Ken Sunshine, public relations consultant: He agreed to campaign for New York City Mayor David Dinkins's reelection in 1993, so we negotiated doing a Saturday morning walking tour of the Upper West Side, focusing on Zabar's deli. There was a horde of cameras outside, and when he went in by the fish counter several old ladies buying lox started screaming, ``John! John!'' It was like the Beatles. There was this crush. He got completely separated from Dinkins. A cheese display went flying at one point, and a big tough cop said, ``It's a bloody lox riot!'' We had to get him out of there. There was flying Brie. People wanted a piece of him. It was wild. Mike Barnicle, columnist, New York Daily News: I'm going to remember him as I saw him up here in Hyannisport. He always had his New York Yankees cap on backward, he always wore a T-shirt and bathing suit, sandals and sunglasses. I'd see him walking down to the yacht club to go sailing or cutting across the backyard gathering lots of kids up for a touch football game. He was a normal guy, a good guy. C. David Heymann, author, A Woman Named Jackie: Once I ran into him at the airport in New York, and we were both on the way to Boston. He looked horrendous, raggedy, like he hadn't shaved. When we arrived at Logan, someone came to pick him up, and he offered me a lift, then said, ``Just a second, I have to go to the little boys' room.'' He went off looking grungy and dirty in sweatpants and a sweatshirt. Ten minutes later, at the most, he emerged completely clean-shaven. He had transformed himself, as if he had stepped off the pages of GQ. Evelyn Lauder, longtime friend: During the Whitney Museum benefit in March, John and Carolyn couldn't wait to get up from dinner and go down to dance. They looked so in love. Afterward we all went up to Rao's restaurant in East Harlem. Carolyn was very protective of him. When we were talking about the future and whether she was going to have a family, she said she wanted to do whatever would be right for the two of them. She was very strong on her own, but it was important to her that the time would be right for him to have a family. Tony Danys, firefighter stationed less than a block from his apartment: You picture him one way, like a movie star. But here on the street he was just an average Joe. Always a hello. Always a smile. Drew Nierporent, restaurateur: We were all at a dinner to honor Robert De Niro for helping to renew TriBeCa. They were serving osso buco, veal shank with a big bone, and he discreetly asked the waitress to wrap up the bones for his dog. He asked not only for his bone but for extras. He walked out with a big doggie bag. Radu Teodorescu, fitness trainer: One night when he came by my studio on Rollerblades, he had gotten his skates tangled in a dog's leash. He had fallen down and scraped his face and was bleeding when he came in. I said, ``You have to be more careful. A President cannot have a scar on his face!'' And he answered, ``Let's not go that far.'' David Sayre, friend and pilot: After his wedding we flew them down to Florida on an old Beech 18 from the '40s or '50s that looked a lot like Amelia Earhart's plane. He ``oohed'' and ``aahed'' all around the plane. It was parked out in this field, and there was nobody else around. He said, ``Where are all the photographers?'' He was ready to have some pictures taken at that point. He loved the plane, the whole scene. He wanted to have a record of it. Donald Trump, real estate mogul: I got a letter from him on that last Friday talking about the death of my father. He talked about the relationship between fathers and sons and how difficult it is to lose a parent. I was so touched. He had such a graciousness about him, that knack for knowing what to say in any situation. It was the last thing I read as I was going out the door on a business trip. It was special then, but it has obviously become even more special now. Rev. Billy Graham, evangelist: John and Carolyn came home from their honeymoon three days early to interview me for George. I could see a great deal of love between them. I was impressed with how ordinary he was. He could be anything he decided to be. He had humility, he was kind, he was gracious and he was knowledgeable. Most important, he had a religious faith, but I think he was searching for something more definite. He asked, ``Where does our own free will end and God's will begin?'' I told him there is a mystery to all of this, but that if he had faith in God and put his trust and confidence in him, he would provide a peace and joy and settle life with certainty. __ [From Newsweek Memorial Issue, Summer/Fall 1999] A Death in the American Family (By Jonathan Alter) In 1945, a young U.S. Navy veteran named John F. Kennedy arranged for the printing of a book called ``As We Remember Joe,'' a collection of reminiscences about his older brother Joseph P. Kennedy Jr., who had been killed at the age of 29 the year before on a dangerous bombing mission over the English Channel. ``His worldly success was so assured and inevitable,'' the future president wrote, ``that his death seems to have cut into the natural order of things.'' The natural order. In the more than half a century since, this notion, applied to this family, has deeply entwined itself in the life of this country. Joe's death brought Jack into politics. After Jack and Bobby were assassinated and Ted was sidelined by Chappaquiddick, the natural order moved to the younger generation, especially the late president's only surviving son, John F. Kennedy Jr., a free-spirited and tremendous appealing young man who wore history's expectations like a light day-pack. It was ironic, and heaven knows the Kennedys love irony: the more hideously unnatural the order, the more natural the heir became, his life largely untroubled by the terrible anxieties that would strangle most others who drew his lot. When he died in the ocean, with his wife, Carolyn, and her sister Lauren Bessette, young Kennedy left no political legacy. He uttered no words that will be remembered a hundred years from now. This great guy was not a great man, not yet. But in his grace and exuberance, his service to others and exquisite sense of self, he reconnected us to the great family epic of the 20th century and set a new standard of decency for the 21st. Why do so many of us care about his death? Why wait in line for three hours to lay flowers at his doorstep? The explanation is simple: we care because we feel as if we knew him, as if his baby pictures were our own family snapshots and home movies. That public sense of possessing John, which lay at the root of the paparazzi interest and the astonishing level of fame he achieved, crossed lines of race, class and age. At the makeshift shrine outside John and Carolyn's apartment in downtown New York, the crowd was strikingly diverse, with some of the poems handwritten in Spanish, and the tears in eyes both young and old. For the World War II generation, he seemed like a son, born right after his father was elected president in 1960, raised by the most famous mother in the world. For certain baby boomers, he was the beau ideal--the gold standard of cool, more handsome than any movie star, the generational icon on whom to project their childhood memories and fantasies. For many younger Americans, Kennedy represented their postmodern esthetic: informal, irreverent, adventurous; an easy blend of having fun and doing good. One constant in all the analysis of his appeal was that John Kennedy (he disliked the ``Jr.'' and loathed ``John- John'') connected to ordinary people. He often Rollerbladed or took the subway around New York, brought his dog to the office, greeted people with perfect manners and concern for anyone down on his luck. Most of his closest friends were not rich and famous, but people he knew from college. There was no entourage, no limo always waiting, no air of entitlement. But in leading an amazingly ordinary life, Kennedy embodied something extraordinary--something that might help explain the way his death affected so many people across so many lines. The American creed, cogently expressed in the Declaration of Independence, is ``life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.'' The last of these is the most elusive. Against the weight of history, John not only pursued happiness, he found it. For all his lost promise, for everything he could have done with another 50 years of life, he lived the ideal, and made us think that we might, too. The burial at sea was appropriate, reflecting John and Carolyn's own sure sense of proportion and place. Their ashes were spread from the USS Briscoe, which carried a priest, a small contingent of family and no press. John loved the open sea and sky, and the family resonance was unmistakable. ``When we go back to the sea,'' President Kennedy once said, ``we go back from whence we came.'' Had he not gone back so painfully soon, John Kennedy would likely have gravitated to the family business. Friends say that he had decided that after proving his entrepreneurial abilities by starting George Magazine, he was ready for politics. At the private mass held at New York's Church of St. Thomas More, ``Uncle Teddy,'' as John called him, told a story about John that reflected how lightly he carried the political expectations imposed on him: ``Once, when they asked John what he would do if he went into politics and was elected president, he said: `I guess the first thing is call up Uncle Teddy and gloat.' I loved that. It was so like his father.'' Ted Kennedy's eulogy captured John's spirit: ``He was so much more than those long-ago images emblazoned in our minds. He was a boy who grew into a man with a zest for life and a love for adventure. He was a pied piper who brought us all along. He was blessed with a mother and father who never thought anything mattered more than their children . . . Above all, Jackie gave him a place to be himself, to grow up, to laugh and cry, to dream and strive on his own. ``John learned that lesson well. He had amazing grace. He accepted who he was, but he cared more about what he could and should become. He saw things that could be lost in the glare of the spotlight. And he could laugh at the absurdity of too much pomp and circumstance.'' In years past, a particular phrase was applied to people like John Kennedy: ``Well bred.'' It meant polite, charming, responsible, attractive. As American society became more democratic and less concerned with who your parents were, the phrase fell from common usage. Nowadays, someone with these qualities is perhaps better called well balanced or well adjusted. From his father, whom he remembered only dimly and mostly from pictures, John inherited an ease with people of all backgrounds, an irresistibility to women and a cool detachment. After hundreds of hollow JFK knockoffs, the real son gave the old wit and elegance a distinctly '90s feel, with much of the same pragmatism as the president. From his mother, who once described her two fine children as ``the best thing I've ever done,'' John learned a strong sense of personal identity, not as a Kennedy icon but as an individual, capable of carving out a private life amid astonishing intrusions. John was a late bloomer; he didn't always know where he was going. But he always knew who he was. This provided a remarkable degree of mental health in someone who by all rights should have been sullen and confused. After all, John Kennedy was the closest thing we've seen to Truman Burbank of ``The Truman Show,'' trapped in a world where almost everyone he met was acting (by pretending that it was no big deal to meet him) and the rest of the world was watching. The difference is that the cinematic Truman didn't know that he was trapped. John knew, and prevailed anyway. One way that he did so was by avoiding cynicism. He was skeptical and sometimes cutting, but he never gave up hope that public service was noble. After he died, his friends were surprised by all of the non-profit organizations that he was involved in beyond the Kennedy family--most undertaken quietly. A school called Exodus House in Harlem. A program called Reaching Up that helped the mentally handicapped. A foundation called Robin Hood that supported programs in the inner city and showed real results. Even if he had never entered politics, Kennedy would have grown old arguing for the importance of some kind of public service. Of course, now he will always be young John, either the unforgettable 3-year-old saluting his father's casket or the dashing prince. ``What made us dream that he could comb grey hair?'' the poet William Butler Yeats once wrote. That loss of promise strikes especially deep because of its ungodly familiarity. Over the years, ``the Kennedy curse'' became a cliche, and one that the family resented. Even now it lacks appreciation of free will and the choices Kennedys make to embrace life and take risks. And yet the sacrifices of this one family have been so disproportionate that they defy rational analysis. President Kennedy once said that ``life is unfair.'' It's hard to imagine that even he--with all of the suffering he experienced--could imagine what has been visited upon the Kennedys and Bessettes. From Aeschylus and Sophocles to Shakespeare and Keats, themes of violent early death and family drama have cascaded through Western culture. For thousands of years, in all societies around the world, the legends of kings and queens, princes and princesses, have exerted a strange, almost magical hold on public imagination, long after the political power of monarchy faded. The United States was founded on anti-royalist principles but settled by immigrants from old kingdoms. So, lacking formal royalty, Americans have long fashioned their own democratic substitutes, from the Adamses to the Roosevelts to hundreds of local duchies. The 2000 presidential campaign, for instance, is shaping up as Albert Gore against George W. Bush--a Tennessee political dynasty versus a Connecticut-Texas one. In a large, diverse and often lonely country without shared ethnic history, there's something comforting about seeing the same family names pop up again and again in different realms, from the Hollywood Fondas to the Teamster Hoffas. More broadly, the triumphs and travails of the famous-- especially public deaths--have become a kind of cultural glue, bonding us to fantasy and to each other. Many Americans know more about the Kennedy cousins than about their own cousins, and cry harder at the loss of someone they know on TV than someone they know in person. This brings us closer together as a nation, but along less authentic lines, as if we need some mediating buffer to experience life. It may have begun with the Kennedy assassination in 1963, the first national trauma shared in front of the electronic hearth of television. In the years since, we've shared many such traumatic televised events--some historically important, others merely emotionally significant--from the assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy to the murder of John Lennon, the Challenger explosion, the death of Princess Diana. We're a virtual culture now, and we're not going back any time soon, no matter how much we all complain about the saturation level. It's too soon to know how the death of John F. Kennedy Jr. will play out historically. He wouldn't have much cared. Some Kennedys will do well in politics; others won't. The paparazzi will find someone else to hound; with any luck, it won't be his sister. All we know for sure is that a good man is gone, and that's a loss for us all. __ [From Newsweek Memorial Issue, Summer/Fall 1999] A Tribute (By Harris Wofford) ``This world demands the qualities of youth,'' said John's uncle Robert to students in South Africa: ``not a time of life but a state of mind, a temper of the will, a quality of imagination, a predominance of courage over timidity, of the appetite for adventure over the love of ease.'' Beyond his charm, the appeal of John F. Kennedy Jr. came largely from those very qualities. He was not a daredevil but daring-- paddling a kayak, rappelling down a mountain wall, flying a plane, founding a magazine. America was born of daring, by people who crossed an ocean and pioneers who went west. That is a spirit we need to stir again. Yet his hold on the public's imagination grew out of two other qualities that Robert Kennedy didn't list. They were key to why those who saw some of him wanted more. Like his father, John had an irrepressible sense of humor. And like his mother, he was curious about life beyond politics: sports, the arts, business, the private realm of family and friends. Americans yearn for leaders who are not obsessed with office-seeking or the privileges of power; who want government to be self- government, including citizen initiatives of many kinds; who will bring into politics what John Adams and Thomas Jefferson called ``the Public Happiness.'' My own memories of the young John Kennedy Jr. are still fresh. He came to ask me, an old Africa hand from the Peace Corps, for tips on what to do during a summer in South Africa before college. He was serious, idealistic, open. On another extended trip he traveled through India with the same eagerness and lack of pretense. After college he worked with teenagers in the South Bronx, so his interest in national service came naturally. Last summer he led a lively George session with me in which he probed the possibilities of service on a larger scale. With less delight I remember the conversation in which he explained, at careful length, why he would not campaign for me in my Senate race in Pennsylvania. He felt that if he made any exception to his rule against campaigning for non-family members, the flood of requests would be unstoppable. It was a deep determination, he explained, to break out of being just his father's son. Later, I joked that he owed me one because he could've brought in the votes I needed. Still, I said I hoped to live long enough to campaign for him for president. He laughed. As he told Tom Brokaw, ``Fortunately, I have some years to decide.'' He--and we--didn't have those years. Will any of his cousins or the generation after them have the same spark, the same breadth, the same ability to grab the public mind? Don't count them out. Some already demonstrate outstanding leadership in public office. Others offer the different kinds of service that John so respected: the Special Olympics and Best Buddies, environmental groups like the Watershed Institute and River Watch and the work of the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Foundation. They all represent the kind of patriotism that this country most needs. One who practices it, too, in her scholarship and public works is Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg. Now out in front, she will represent a new breed of leader, and her own profile in courage will be our last direct link to President Kennedy and Jacqueline. John said that every time his spirits were low, he listened to the blues sung by Bessie Smith, who also died tragically. ``And then I get cured by her sadness.'' The cure to our sadness may be to share--and learn from--the Kennedys' losses: not by retreating but by going forward and giving even more. So instead of thinking of a curse on the Kennedys, we should think of the gifts they have given--and ask ourselves what we can give back to the country we all share. __ [From Vanity Fair, September, 1999] Great Expectations (By David Michaelis) A long, long time ago, when he was John--just John--I knew him a little. I was a friend of his sister Caroline's from school. Her brother was a skinny 13-year-old with a big flop of hair. He was thoughtful, undemanding. He remembered your name. He had a watchful eye, a quietness that did not seem to mark him as a Kennedy male, and a mischievous streak that did. As a younger brother he could be protective and loving but also loose, goofy--goofy in a way that kept him from having to control the world too much. As he grew older, authority came to him and he wore it naturally. If, as a boy, he had been embarrassed by his skinniness, he seemed surprised as a man to have become beautiful--no other word for it. He moved with Olympian grace, back rippling, stomach quilted with muscle. If he was vain about his body, he seemed unconcerned with his handsomeness, and careless with his hair and clothes. He could poke fun at his own myth brilliantly, and knew how to be honest with a wry smile and wrenching laughter. To a remarkable degree he remained unself-conscious. His sense of obligation to his family showed itself in one physical quality that I remember: He had trouble sitting still. He could not seem to help himself; he was always moving restlessly in and out of rooms. When he entered or left a room he did something overpowering to that room and the people in it, something that no one else, except perhaps his parents, his sister, or Princess Diana, could do. Fame is a gross distortion of a human being, but he made it look as if you or I could do it. I once spent a quarter of an hour being John F. Kennedy Jr., which gave me an idea of who he was and what it might have cost him had he not managed to find a coherent sense of self. The setting was a room in a senior-citizen center somewhere in Rhode Island late in the spring of 1980, when his uncle Senator Edward M. Kennedy was running for the Democratic nomination for the presidency. Working on the campaign, I happened to enter that room of seniors with one of the senator's nieces, Kerry Kennedy. The crowd was expecting her. They knew that Kerry went to Brown University in nearby Providence. And because it was also known that John F. Kennedy Jr. was enrolled at Brown, and because I was close enough in age and height to John, and because Kennedys are known to travel in multiples, the seniors simply assumed that I was the only surviving son of the late President Kennedy. It took nothing more than showing my face in that room: I was the boy who had saluted his father's flag-draped coffin. I was ``John- John,'' or, as they pronounced it, in a kind of love chant, ``Jawn-Jawn.'' Over and over: Jawn-Jawn, Jawn-Jawn. It felt like undertow. The wildly grasping hands, the gaping mouths, the talon like fingernails--all suddenly in my face, on my body, deeply in my flesh. I no longer belonged to myself. I was theirs. I remember telling row after row of wheelchair-bound seniors that I wasn't John. No one listened. Everyone was bewitched. John-John, I was, Jawn-Jawn I would be. For me it was only for a matter of minutes. He had a lifetime of it. By some act of will, or strand of DNA, he would not be conquered by the assault--not by the cameras, not by the beating of muffled drums or flags at half-mast or the film clips that again swept his smiling, unhurt parents from Love Field to their doom, and him to his salute outside St. Matthew's Cathedral. He had been history and he would be history. Though he was part of everyone's past, he somehow understood that he must always remain in the present. If he had a chance to live outside the myth, it was by mastering the here and now. I saw him leaving a room a couple of years ago, at the annual White House Correspondents Dinner in Washington, D.C., which he was attending as the founding editor in chief of George Magazine. At the end of the evening, in one of the wide, carpeted hallways of the Hilton, my wife, Clara, and I were pulled into an expanding swirl of people, eddying urgently around a fixed center. My first thought was that here was the scene of a medical emergency. Someone must be on the floor, having a heart attack, because of the way people near the center of the pack were shouting in alarmed, incoherent bursts. Others respectfully kept their distance from the center yet also refused in the crisis to budge from their places. More and more people moved in behind us, until we were all pressed together and holding our breath in suspense, witnesses to the emergency of John Kennedy and Carolyn Bessette Kennedy's leaving the Hilton. He seemed interested in fulfillment. In recent years, he had settled down, made commitments. But still you never knew with John how hard it was to live with his feelings--or, for that matter, with expectations, memorabilia, houses, dubious privacy, plentiful money, grief more dreadful than it seems possible to endure. In the dining room of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis's apartment at 1040 Fifth Avenue, a little after 10:15 p.m. on May 19, 1994, John told family and friends that she was dead. Minutes later, a desperate keening could be heard from a back hallway. It sounded as if it might have been one of the old Greek maids from the days of Onassis. It turned out to be a woman no one knew, silver-haired, odd-looking who suddenly appeared in the front hallway and embraced John. He at first took her to be one of his Bouvier cousins. But when he gallantly apologized for not knowing her, the woman told him first one, then another obviously fake name, and he realized that she had come in off the street, from the crowds that had been logjammed behind blue sawhorses for days on the sidewalk below. That scene in the hallway could have played out in so many ways, ugly or angry, weird or graceful. Good manners can help at a time like that; so can kindness, patience, and experience with the chaos and comedy that was always at the edge of his family's life. By the time his mother died, he had learned simplicity too, which was her greatness. But to know how to handle an intruder at your mother's deathbed, you need above all to be true to yourself. He gently told the woman, ``Madam, you don't belong here.'' Identity is the question we all have to solve, and that's why John Kennedy's triumph, his ability to be himself, despite odds no one would bet on, was a miracle to witness. __ [From George Magazine, October, 1999] Editor's Letter (By the Editorial Staff) In the weeks following John Kennedy's death, his image lived on at newsstands and on televisions everywhere. Magazines and newspapers all published their homages to a life that was lived in the public eye. For a little while, television turned into univision, with John being the only program. What the media printed and broadcast was a dramatized narrative-- beginning with John's birth and filmed through the lenses of countless cameras--that had unfolded like a long-running serial, with epic highs and tragic lows leading into each new chapter. That the producers of a fable wanted to distribute their interpretation of its end wouldn't have surprised John a bit. Still, for those of us who worked with John, the process of seeing our colleague's death transformed into the stuff of popular history was unsettling. Certainly, we were familiar with many of the images: John as the scion of a mythic family, John as the handsome and glamorous New Yorker with a beautiful and glamorous wife, John as a potential political candidate. During our time at George, we had gotten a backstage look at John once called ``the giant puppet show that can turn public people into barely recognizable symbols of themselves.'' And, to be fair, the tributes were almost always kind, mostly accurate, and rightly captured the essence of John: his unfailingly generous heart and his remarkable passion for life. But we were reluctant to participate. At such a time, we found it hard to trust our emotions, to feel confident that we'd be able to say the right things in the proper way. Ultimately, we decided to remember John within the pages of George. Part of our remembrance is manifest in every story and every photograph in this issue, from Al Franken's wonderfully funny report on the GOP's Iowa straw poll to our countdown of the 100 greatest moments of the American century. That's important to note, because John knew that sooner or later this magazine would have to stand on its own. Save for one or two noteworthy exceptions, he didn't want his name on the cover of George or his picture inside. This month, however, we're making an exception by publishing a special section in John's memory. We've tried to tell you about John as we saw him every workday: as an editor and a journalist who founded a magazine with a mission. In our tribute section, you'll find excerpts from his editor's letters and the interviews he conducted for the magazine--John in his own words. We've also included some of his favorite covers and a story about his trip to Cuba to interview Fidel Castro, a fascinating journey that, for reasons you'll see when you read the piece, never made it into George. Finally, we're publishing a photo gallery of some of the people in public life whom John admired. Whether or not they knew it, he thought they represent the spirit of civic duty that informed his editorial vision and inspired him to create George. John may be gone, but his faith in the virtue of public service is not. From a boxer to a president, these people share that faith. So does this magazine. Thanks for reading. We'll see you next month. __ [From John F. Kennedy Library Newsletter, Fall 1999] Statement of Paul G. Kirk, Jr., Board Chairman of the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation John's tragic loss leaves an immeasurable void in the hearts and lives of his friends on the Board and staffs of the John F. Kennedy Library and foundation. He carried his father's name with pride, grace, and dignity. As the Foundation's Vice Chairman, he gave generously of his time, talent, ideas, and resources to help make the Kennedy Library the educational center of public service envisioned by his mother. His thoughtful and forceful views as a member of the Profile in Courage Award Committee were evidence of his commitment to his father's inspiration and legacy. We extend our deepest sympathy to Caroline Kennedy, Ed, their children, and to all members of the Bessette and Kennedy families, and we assure them of our prayers for their strength and for the peace of their loved ones lost. __ Permissions and Credits Photographs Frontispiece: Courtesy of Ken Regan. Pgs. 40-43, 46 (bottom), 47-49, 52 & 53: Courtesy of JFK Library. P. 44: Courtesy of JFK Library/Stan Tretick/Look Magazine. P. 45: Courtesy of JFK Library/UPI. P. 46 (top): Courtesy of Frank Teti. P. 50: Courtesy of Kennedy family collection. P. 51: Courtesy of Denis Reggie. Newspaper and Journal Articles P. 55: Reproduced with permission of The Los Angeles Times,
1999. P. 56: Reproduced with permission of Newsday, 1999. Pgs. 61, 63 & 82: Reproduced with permission of The New York Daily News, 1999. Pgs. 65 & 73: Reproduced with permission of The Boston Globe, 1999. Pgs. 67 & 84: 1999 by The New York Times Company. Reprinted by permission. Pgs. 69 & 78: Reproduced with permission of The Washington Post, 1999. Pgs. 70 & 86: Reproduced with permission of USA Today, 1999. Pgs. 75 & 76: Reproduced with permission of The New York Post, 1999. P. 80: The Wall Street Journal, 1999 Holder-Dow Jones Co., Inc. Pgs. 90, 92, 94, 102, 104 & 105: 1999 by Time Inc. All rights reserved. Pgs. 96, 98 & 100: Reprinted by permission; 1999 The Conde Nast Publications, Inc. Originally published in The New Yorker. P. 107: This article is reprinted with permission of The Weekly Standard. Original date of article, August 2, 1999, Copyright, News America Incorporated. P. 109: Reprinted from the Summer 1999 issue of People Weekly Magazine by special permission; 1999, Time Inc. Pgs. 112 & 116: 1999 by Newsweek, Inc., 444 Madison Avenue, New York, N.Y. 10022. All rights reserved. P. 118: 1999 David Michaelis. This article originally appeared in Vanity Fair. P. 120: Reproduced with permission of George Magazine, 1999. P. 122: Reproduced with permission of the JFK Library Newsletter, 1999.