Vintage Photos Of The Kennedy Clan During Their Youth

Published February 21, 2017
Updated May 4, 2018
Kennedy Tennis
John and Jacqueline Bouvier pose on a tennis court in Hyannis Port during the weekend of June 26-28, 1953.John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum

Kennedy Wedding Laughter
Robert (left), Jean Ann (center, facing front), Edward (to Jean Ann's right), and others gather at the wedding of Jacqueline Bouvier (bottom left) and John F. Kennedy (bottom right) in Newport, Rhode Island on September 12, 1953.John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum

Kennedy Brothers Father
From left, Joseph Jr., Joseph Sr., and John in Southampton, England on July 2, 1938.John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum

Kennedy Surf
From left, Robert, John, and Edward walk along the surf in Palm Beach, Florida, April 1957.John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum/Douglas Jones/LOOK Magazine

Kennedy Graduation
John graduates from Harvard University on June 20, 1940.John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum

Engagement Party
John and Jacqueline Bouvier pose on a sailfish boat in Hyannis Port on their engagement weekend, June 26-28, 1953.John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum

Kennedy Friends
Kennedy family and friends at the clan's compound in Hyannis Port, Massachusetts, 1944. Edward (front left), John (back, second from left).John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum

Kathleen Kennedy
From left, Joseph Jr., Kathleen, and John arrive at the House of Parliament in London on September 3, 1939 to hear Prime Minister Chamberlain's announcement that a state of war existed between England and Germany.John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum

Young Kennedy
John sits and studies at his desk at Harvard, circa 1939. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum

Family Kennedys
Rosemary, John, Eunice, Joseph Jr., and Kathleen swim in Hyannis Port, 1925.John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum

Kennedy Yearbook
John's 1940 Harvard yearbook entry.John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum

Kennedy Children
Joseph Sr. with sons Joseph Jr. (left) and John (right) in Palm Beach, Florida, 1931.John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum/E. F. Foley

Kennedy Pt 109
Lt. John F. Kennedy aboard the PT-109 torpedo boat in the South Pacific, 1943.John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum

Kennedy Football
John in his Dexter Academy football uniform, 1926.John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum

Kennedy Dog
John with dog, Bobby, at Hyannis Port, Massachusetts, 1925.John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum

Kennedy Small Dog
John at The Hague on August 24, 1937 during a tour of Europe that summer of 1937.John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum

Kennedy Family
Rose (left) with her children, circa 1923. From left to right: Eunice, Kathleen, Rosemary (seated in foreground), John, and Joseph Jr.John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum/Bachrach Studios

Kennedy Brothers
John (left) and JosephJr. in Brookline, Massachusetts, circa 1919.John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum

Kennedy Siblings
The Kennedy Children in Hyannis Port, 1928. From left to right: Jean, Robert, Patricia, Eunice, Kathleen, Rosemary, John, Joseph Jr.John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum

Kennedy Child
Edward (on shoulders), John (standing), and Robert (kneeling) in Palm Beach, Florida, April 1936.John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum

Kennedy Clan
The Kennedy Family at Hyannis Port on September 4, 1931. From left to right: Robert, John, Eunice, Jean (on lap of) Joseph Sr., Rose (behind) Patricia, Kathleen, Joseph Jr. (behind) Rosemary. Dog in foreground is "Buddy."John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum

Police Child
John and sister Eunice in Brookline, Massachusetts, circa 1925.John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum

Kennedy Family Football
John (second from right) in Hyannis Port, circa 1944.John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum

Robert Kennedy
Robert after winning a ski race for boys 16 years old and younger, January 1, 1939.John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum

Ted Kennedy
Edward on beach, circa late 1930s.John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum

John Kennedy Siblings
John and his siblings Eunice, Joseph Jr., Rosemary, and Kathleen in a boat at Cohasset, Massachusetts, circa 1923-1924.John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum

Ed Kennedy
Edward in London with toy sailboat, circa 1938-1941.John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum

The Kennedy Family
The Kennedy family in Hyannis Port, 1948. From left to right: John, Jean, Rose, Joseph Sr., Patricia, Robert, Eunice, and in foreground, Edward.John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum

Kennedy Coconut
John in Palm Beach, Florida on January 24, 1944.John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum

Kennedy Brothers Military
Lt. John F. Kennedy and Ensign Joseph P. Kennedy Jr., circa May, 1942.John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum/Turgeon Studios

Kennedy World War Two
John (left) and friend Paul "Red" Fay during World War II at Tulagi, Solomon Islands, 1943.John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum

Boat Officers
PT Boat Officers (from left to right) James ("Jim") Reed, John F. Kennedy, George ("Barney") Ross [rear], and Paul ("Red") Fay, circa 1943. Tulagi, Solomon Islands.John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum

Ensign Kennedy
Ensign John F. Kennedy in South Carolina, circa 1942.John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum

Kennedy Crew
Lt. John F. Kennedy (standing, far right) and crewmen of the PT-109. Solomon Islands, 1943.John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum

Wedding Picture
Group photo from the Kennedy-Bouvier wedding in Newport, Rhode Island, September 12, 1953John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum

Kennedy South Pacific
Lt. John F. Kennedy in the South Pacific, circa 1943.John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum

Kennedy Spine Surgery
John leaving on gurney from hospital following spinal surgery, as his wife Jacqueline stands over him on December 21, 1954.Library of Congress/Dick DeMarsico

Kathleen Kennedy Red Cross
Kathleen Kennedy in her American Red Cross uniform in London, circa 1943.John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum

Jbk Jfk Dancing Wedding
John and Jacqueline dance at their wedding reception, September 12, 1953.John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum

Kennedy Turtle
Robert (front), John (wearing a sailor's hat), and friend LeMoyne Billings pose on a pier in Palm Beach, Florida, circa early 1930s.John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum

Kennedy Fishing
John fishing on a boat, date unspecified.John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum

Jfk Boat
John (right) and Edward (left) in Hyannis Port, circa 1946.John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum

Newlyweds
Newlyweds John and Jacqueline Kennedy admiring the sailfish he'd just landed during their honeymoon in Acapulco, Mexico, September 1953.John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum

Rbk Bride
The bride, Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy, is escorted by her groom, John F. Kennedy during their wedding reception at Hammersmith Farm in Newport, Rhode Island on September 12, 1953.John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum

Jfk Young
John in Hyannis Port, circa 1940-41.John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum

The Kennedy family may be the closest the U.S. has come to royalty in the last hundred years -- and it took far more for JFK for that to happen.

It all begins with the family's patriarch and matriarch, Joseph P. Kennedy Sr. and Rose Kennedy. Joseph's business dealings helped amass the Kennedy family fortune and launch the family's political career, which first started when he became the inaugural chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and then the United States ambassador to the United Kingdom from 1938 until late 1940.

Joseph and Rose had nine children together, starting with Joseph Jr., who died in World War II during a top secret mission. John was the second eldest and would go on to become U.S. president. Next came Rose Marie, whose father -- fearful that her mood swings might embarrass the family -- ordered that she have a lobotomy at 23 years old, which reduced her mental capacity to that of a two-year-old.

Next came three sisters: Kathleen, who died in a plane crash in 1948; Eunice, who started the Special Olympics in Rosemary Kennedy's honor; and Patricia, whom her father described as "the one with head for business. She could really run this town if she put her mind to it." Unfortunately, that was never to be, given the misogyny of the time.

Lastly, there was Robert, the senator and U.S. attorney general who was assassinated not long after his elder brother; Jean, a former U.S. ambassador to Ireland and the Kennedy family's last surviving child; and Edward, a longtime U.S. senator who died in office in 2009.

The photos above shows this family in their prime, before the Kennedy Curse came to take so many of them away.


Fascinated by these Kennedy family photos? Next, check out these spectacular Jacqueline Kennedy photos, before looking at these revealing photographs of John F. Kennedy.

All That's Interesting
All That's Interesting is a Brooklyn-based digital publisher that seeks out the stories to illuminate the past, present, and future.