The Kennedy family is often compared to the Adamses and the Bushes, as among the great American political dynasties. All three families have strong roots in the New England area of the United States.
Some commentators in the early 1960s made predictions that President John F. Kennedy would be first of a dynasty in the White House, but these predictions were not borne out, and the idea largely dropped off the public's radar after Robert Kennedy was assassinated in 1968 and Edward Kennedy was involved in a possible drunk-driving incident (in which a passenger in his car was killed) in 1969. However, a number of Kennedy family members have held high office since then.
Actor and California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is associated with the Kennedy family by his marriage to television journalist Maria Shriver, daughter of Eunice Kennedy and Sargent Shriver, although Schwarzenegger is a Republican. Other than Schwarzenegger, a Kennedy by marriage, the most famous Kennedy of the current generation is the late John F. Kennedy, Jr, a lawyer and publisher of George magazine, was killed in a plane crash in 1999. Several of the current generation are involved in national or state politics. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend is a former Lieutenant Governor of Maryland; Patrick J. Kennedy is a Congressman from Rhode Island; Joseph P. Kennedy II is a former Congressman from Massachusetts.
The dynasty was founded by Patrick J. Kennedy (1858 - 1929) who married Mary Augusta Hickey, by way of their son Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr (1888 - 1969) who married Rose Fitzgerald (1890 - 1995) in 1914. Together Rose and Joe Sr. (who served as Ambassador to Great Britain in the years leading up to World War II) had nine children: