‘The Last Days of JFK Jr.’ documentary: JFK Jr. was America’s ‘last prince’

JOHN F KENNEDY JR ARCHIVE IMAGES

2019 will bring us the twentieth anniversary of John F. Kennedy Jr’s death. JFK Jr, his wife Carolyn Bessette Kennedy, and Carolyn’s sister Lauren all died in July 1999, when John’s plane crashed into the sea. I thought about Carolyn and John too much in 2018, because there were new books and new magazine covers and new articles about them, and it wasn’t even a “big” anniversary of their deaths. But prepare yourselves – this coming year is probably going to be full of tons of documentaries and new books, all about John and his marriage and more. Apparently, ABC is getting a head start on it – they’ve done a documentary called The Last Days of JFK Jr, which will air on January 3rd on ABC. People Mag is promoting it:

A new documentary about John F. Kennedy Jr. is digging into the life of late first son — and exploring his family’s ongoing legacy.

“He was the last glimmer of the fantasy,” says writer Michael Gross of John in the PEOPLE exclusive trailer for ABC’s upcoming documentary, The Last Days of JFK Jr. “He was the last prince.”

The documentary features interviews with several close friends of John and his wife Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy, who both died in a plane crash on July 16, 1999.

“I think John F Kennedy Jr. summed up the fascination and attachment many have with him when he spoke to ABC News in 1992. When asked about his father, he said, ‘One of the reasons why he remains a figure that captures our imagination is that his life was uncompleted and his work was uncompleted and there was that sense of promises that were left by circumstances undone,’ ” says executive producer Terri Lichstein. “Our documentary is an intimate and personal look at the life of JFK Jr. through new interviews with close friends, and extremely rare footage of his life, and life with Carolyn in those final years and days,” says Lichstein. “I believe it will be a lasting emotional and unforgettable journey for the viewer.”

The interviews paint an intimate portrait of the man and his marriage to Carolyn.

“That was definitely a deep love affair,” Chermayeff tells ABC. Yet, also one plagued by stressful circumstances. In the last few weeks of their lives, both Carolyn, 33, and John, 38, were under intense pressure. John’s political magazine, George, was under financial strain and John was looking for a buyer. On top of that, the relentless media attention had added stress to their marriage.

[From People]

I know this is the kind of thing aimed at me, my generation, and the generation above me. I was too young to be truly obsessed with John, and then Carolyn. But I remember that time very clearly, and I do think that John was probably “America’s Last Prince,” or the last of that very particular kind of celebrity/political-entertainment-figure. No one else will be able to combine the good-looks, the tragedy, the glamour, the normal-life-struggles, and the circumstances could never be mimicked either. Here’s my question though – in the parallel universe in which John and Carolyn had lived, what would the last 20 years have looked like? I think they probably would have gotten divorced. And I think people really would have pushed him to run for office too, and it would have been disastrous.

JOHN F KENNEDY JR ARCHIVE IMAGES

JOHN F KENNEDY JR AND CAROLYN BESSETTE AT 'BRITE NITE WHITNEY' WHITNEY MUSEUM OF AMERICAN ART'S KICK OFF PARTY FOR THE MILLENNIUM IN NEW YORK. PIC: UDV/LFI

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red.

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130 Responses to “‘The Last Days of JFK Jr.’ documentary: JFK Jr. was America’s ‘last prince’”

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  1. Elisabeth says:

    Good Lord he was a well made man <3

    • jan90067 says:

      Gorgeous man…

      They made SUCH a beautiful couple. Can you imagine what their kids would’ve looked like?? Sigh… still… shame people can’t let them rest in peace. It’s got to be painful for the families, esp. the Bessettes, having lost both daughters.

      • Lady2Lazy says:

        That is an utter tragedy for her family. I could not imagine losing two daughters in one day.
        In regards to their future, we will never know as we can only speculate.
        Though I did read articles that he was very down to earth, easy to approach and a delight to be with/around.
        We can only look at this time as a tragedy for not only the families but also what might have been.

    • Bella Bella says:

      I met him in person. He was dazzling!

      • CooCooCatchoo says:

        Sigh… he was gorgeous, wasn’t he?!? I think that every woman who was in her twenties or thirties back then had a crush on him. He seemed like the ultimate catch. Lucky you for meeting him! Was he as nice as I hope he was?

      • Bella Bella says:

        He was very nice and down to earth. I worked with his mother and she gave me tickets to a play performed by a theater company he was on the board of. I met him at the party after the play. He was surrounded by a mob of people, but his mother had insisted that I say hello to him so I had to push through the throng to say hello. I often saw him out and about in the city, on his bike, in elevators (I later worked in the same building as George), on the street (I lived downtown). He lived as regular a life as one could — very often people didn’t recognize him on the street. He was a a very nice man. Jackie was a great mother and raised two wonderful children who had no airs.

  2. Elkie says:

    JFK Jr is still alive, dammit! Q.A.Nonsense says so.

    • Esmom says:

      I just read that yesterday, lol. I had no idea.

    • Ader says:

      And he’s been helping Trump frame the Clintons for decades!

      (Remember folks: Q-anoners actually vote!)

    • Doodle says:

      Arggghhhh! This nonsense drives me crazy! My friend told me about Q and JFK this summer, and she had swallowed the whole story—hook, line, and sinker! It made me sick.
      What’s even worse, there is a great deal of support for Trump in the metaphysical community— they believe that Trump is a “white hat” who is just playing a role, and who is ushering in a new golden age. I have a couple of people I follow on FB who are leaders in this field, and reading their posts anymore just makes me sick. If you disagree in any way, they attack you.
      You can’t make this sh*t up!

      • Elkie says:

        A new golden age of the Sundowning Moron Who Paints Himself Orange And Cannot Stop Being Investigated For Crimes? Yes, I can see it all so clearly now.

        Nothing would make me happier that to have all this revealed as a grad student’s experiment for a PhD thesis on gullability…

      • Ader says:

        You know a Q-anoner IRL!? Can you please tell us a little more. Like, has she always been a conservative? Does she just shut down when you try to point out the nonsense? So curious.

        As for the metaphysical community…I used to dabble, but soon realized it’s a very conservative community. I also became annoyed by the hypocrisy (i.e., “everyone should be authentic and open…but we will shun and shame you for voicing a differing opinion about [insert anything].”)

      • BchyYogi says:

        Metaphysical tolerance for trump comes from the same FB acquaintances who voted Jill Stein. If i point out the obvious, or note that Stein had putin connections…the attack theme is I’m “not conscious enough to SEE that trump is waking us up”, etc. Gag. This election has scared me straight, not right wing straight, cuz that’s crooked, but skeptical fact-based STRAIGHT.

    • Elaine says:

      LOL! Actually in a recent Q&A, Q revealed that JFK jr is *not* alive. qmap.pub :-D

      I too used to see him in and around NYC. Fine lookin’ man. Read a recent book by his nanny, ‘Jackie’s Girl’. Really interesting. She gives a glimpse into Jackie’s character. Kind (she paid for the nanny’s wedding) and demanding (she kept trying to get her to stay later and later cause Jackie was lonely). She kept in touch with John and years later, tried to help Carolyn settle into her new life. But twas not to be…

    • megs283 says:

      Same. I was 16 when it happened. I live in Massachusetts and I worked in a sub shop at the time. I remember the owner (who was kinda scary) being enraged that the attention was all about JFK Jr and barely covered a local school teacher who went missing (or possibly murdered) at the time.

      Possibly the most important takeaway from that summer, in addition to how hard a small businessperson works to make their business successful.

      • Purrrr says:

        I was at my family’s summer home on the ocean there and my uncle told me that his body was going to wash up on the beach. I didn’t go in the water for 3 days.

      • Elizabeth L says:

        Was on MV at the time also as a teenager working a summer job. A reporter landed in a seaplane just behind our shop and literally came in to ask us directions. That was the first I heard that they had died.

  3. Jegede says:

    He would 100% have run for office.

    All his close friends have pretty much stated that was were he was headed; despite his “Aw Shucks” answers to the question.😉

    And yes they would have been divorced.😑

    • Esmom says:

      Agree on all counts.

      As for him being a disaster as a candidate or elected official, it’s hard to say. It’s also hard to say what Carolyn would be doing if they divorced. Interesting to think about. I was always captivated by them.

      • Darla says:

        Yeah, I don’t know that it would have been a disaster. For all we know he could have been the 2016 nominee. We will never know. They’d be long divorced though. I suspect he’d be remarried and a serious politico.

      • boredblond says:

        I don’t know..it always seemed the pressure to get involved in politics came from others, not really him. Maybe he liked the idea of publishing because of his mom’s influence and if they all flopped, he might’ve gotten into something else where he could’ve used his contacts, like film production.

      • jan90067 says:

        He did want to be an actor. Jackie shut that down pretty fast. Same with his involvement with Darryl Hannah.

      • Cerys says:

        Agree. I think he would have run for office and he would have had a good chance of winning but I don’t know that it would have been what he really wanted. I also agree that he and Carolyn would have eventually divorced. I never thought they were right for each other but I always felt very sorry for her living with the media pressure.
        He came across as a likeable, down-to-earth guy in spite of all his wealth and fame. Young lives cut short are always a tragedy, no matter who the people are.

    • Ader says:

      Weren’t they already on the verge of divorce when the accident happened?

  4. Lala11_7 says:

    Being middle aged…I grew up on the history of Camelot…studied the Kennedy family to learn more about American political history…studied the Kennedy women (Ethel…is…SOMETHING ELSE…WHOA!) etc…but I gotta say…other than JFK, Jr. being attractive and dating famous women…he always left me…underwhelmed…..

    • Esmom says:

      I’m middle aged, too, and I think you are far from alone in being underwhelmed by him. Some people clearly found him to be less than intelligent and it seemed he worked hard to combat that perception. I personally was intrigued by both him (for his background) and Carolyn (for her game) but not a stan as many folks were.

      He seems downright genius and uber statesmanlike compared to who we have in DC now, though!

      • jan90067 says:

        The “less than intelligent” stories started when he wanted to be an actor, then failed the NY Bar exam 3 times in a row.

      • Lightpurple says:

        He failed it twice. He passed on the third try. They tell you not to take the bar if something stressful has happened in your life recently. His grandmother died the day before his first attempt and he should have skipped it. Same thing happened with two of my classmates. Deaths in the family the week of the exam and neither of them passed it. The second attempt, he was too busy partying with Darryl Hannah to study so that one is on him. He went on to work as a prosecutor at the NYC district attorney’s office, which is a low-paying, thankless but necessary, gritty job.

      • Megan says:

        I don’t get the interest 20 years on. He was famous for being from a famous family and being the son of a president that has been thoroughly mythologized.

      • Jamie says:

        It wasn’t just the bar exam though. He was held back a year in high school . He almost flunked out of Brown a couple of times and his mom had to intervene to keep him there.
        The guy was pretty but he wasn’t very smart.

      • Emmet says:

        I’m going to stick up for JFK Jr. on the bar exam issue. Word was he was dyslexic and could have had the questions read to him aloud and refused. That’s why the three tries.

      • Jessica says:

        Honestly, a trained monkey can pass a bar exam. It is just a matter of putting in the time. I passed two state bars. It is not rocket science.

      • noway says:

        The New York bar is supposedly pretty hard and the hardest of most states. I don’t think he was brilliant, but maybe just a little above average. Still he was very attractive, nice, and just such tragedy for one family. I think that is why it’s still a big deal. Plus we are all just trying to feel something that isn’t so creepy like we have now. I mean President Kennedy’s family were young, fun, good looking, incredibly rich and still trying to help people.

      • Cerys says:

        He was dyslexic which may explain his struggles with the bar exam.

    • LORENAA says:

      Ouu whats the Ethel gossip? I have always been fascinated by all of the Kennedys but I have mostly just watched every documentary I could find. My favorite Kennedy was RFK

      • Lala11_7 says:

        When I THINK…of what our country would be NOW…if Robert F. Kennedy had not been assassinated….

        I could drown…in a RIVER of tears of sorrow…

        And I’m not even being hyperbolic about that….

      • Sash says:

        The world would have been so much different if RFK had survived.

      • Lolamd says:

        Are there any good books on RFK you recommend I could read?

      • Keaton says:

        I love what your said about RFK @Lala11_7.
        IMO he’s the Kennedy brother that could’ve been truly great for our nation.

      • Tourmaline says:

        Good books re Ethel by Jerry Oppenheimer and J Randy Tarraborrelli (sp?)

      • noway says:

        Chris Matthews Robert Kennedy book is good, and Chris is really into the history of RFK. It’s worth the read.

    • Iknow says:

      I agree too. He was handsome as all get out. But he didn’t seem like a intellectual powerhouse. Seemed like a nice guy, though.

      • LORENAA says:

        He seemed like a genuinely nice man and I’d say progressive beyond his time

      • Jegede says:

        @LORENAA

        Yes.
        His magazine realised the fusion of politics and pop culture and was a precursor to the HuffPost.

        He was legitimately liked by all in New York.

        I mean if George W Bush could be elected twice over as President, I dunno how JFK Jr was a never gonna happen.

    • MsK says:

      I was in my early 20′s and living in New York and saw him once, all alone. He was breathtaking in person, truly. I think he had his dad’s charm but lacked his mom’s smarts but I also think he very much enjoyed the limelight and probably would have run for office.

    • Mumbles says:

      Nice to look at, but not the brightest bulb on the tree. Plus his magazine was superficial and celebrity-obsessed, and in retrospect not what we needed.

      It was a shame that so many “friends” – including his assistant at the magazine – sold him out with tell-alls.

      • hot says:

        I think his magazine was ahead of it’s time, understanding the growing celebritization of politics. He thougt that would be the way to get younger adults and regular people interested in politics. I find it hard to pass judgement on someone that struggles with regular academics as “not bright”..

    • Montrealaise says:

      I am middle-aged too (perhaps older than you) and I remember the general consensus about him was that he coasted on his famous name and good looks but didn’t really put much effort into anything. He wanted to be an actor, but his mother insisted that he go to law school instead; it took him several tries before he was finally admitted to the Bar. The feeling was not that he was dumb but rather that, since everything had always been handed to him on a silver platter, he never saw the need to work hard at anything.

  5. Iknow says:

    I remember when that plane went missing. I remember feeling devastated for Carolyn’s parents. To lose TWO daughters, I can’t imagine the devastation that family went through. I do believe they would’ve definitely divorced. Before the crash, their relationship was under considerable strains. Carolyn liked being Mrs. John Kennedy Jr., but hated the camera’s and scrutiny. They died pre-internet gossip websites. can you imagine what it would’ve been like if they’d been alive now?

    • L84Tea says:

      They would’ve put Angelina/Brad/Jennifer, Posh/Becks, Bennifer, and all the rest to shame if they’d lived in the internet gossip era.

  6. launicaangelina says:

    I agree that they would have divorced. They already had several issues and I’m not sure she was ever going to adapt to being in the public eye.

  7. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    I completely remember everything surrounding their plane crash. I lost mom to breast cancer in March 1999. In June, the boys and I flew to the Valley to spend time with my dad. On June 11, I lost my dad in a drowning accident. Needless to say, I was immovable. I spent the following two months hanging out at his house with my stepmother. As a numb zombie, the only thing I remember of those weeks were these two and their plane crash. At that moment, knowing of so many tragedies belonging to the Kennedys, I actually made some weird connection. Stupid, I know, but it kept me breathing lol. Their lives, struggles, the plane, anything and everything was picked apart 24/7 for about a week.

    • Myrtle says:

      I’m so sorry for your horrible loss, Mabs… How awful to lose both your parents just months apart like that. Of course you were in shock. And your feeling a connection to the Kennedys at the time makes absolute sense to me—you were connected, by tragedy. I would have felt the same. xx

      • Mabs A'Mabbin says:

        Thank you Myrtle. Twenty years, and there’s only two words to describe me. Arrested development lmao.

    • Lightpurple says:

      So sorry for your loss.

    • CooCooCatchoo says:

      Sweet Mabs… that must have been such an awful time for you. So sorry.

  8. Notanotherpostcard says:

    He was the reason they all died in that plane crash. He was flying with a broken foot and in instrument-rated weather conditions (bad weather) without an instrument license.

    He was a fool, flying in unsafe conditions without the training to do so safely.

    That was a tragedy because he killed those women. Reminds me of another Kennedy being careless/stupid leading to a woman’s death.

    • megs283 says:

      yup.

    • SJhere says:

      Sounds a bit harsh to say that but, I agree and think it’s very true.
      Wasn’t he also fairly inexperied as a pilot? Think so, IIRC.

      JFK, Jr. Was very handsome, and of course wealthy with the family power and name also.

      I agree that with the correct team behind him he would have easily won election to public office if he had chosen to run AND he did seem to be educated and well spoken.
      On his worst day he would be miles ahead of Trump as POTUS!
      His family connections would have enabled him to pick a hell of a dream team of advisors.

      And agree 100% that RFK living to be POTUS would have produced an entirely different America vs. what we are currently in.

    • LT says:

      It was hubris, pure and simple. He was under qualified to fly in those conditions. My former brother in law and father in law both had their own planes and it terrified me to fly with them. Any arrogance or overestimation of one’s own abilities can be deadly.

    • Rhys says:

      Exactly right. He was a criminal for jeopardizing the lives of two women because of his ego. He hadn’t even had enough hours to fully qualify for flying that plane, not to mention his foot and the weather conditions.

      And yes, their marriage was heading for divorce as confirmed by several people who knew them.

    • sommolierlady says:

      Absolutely. His entitlement and ego are the reason those lives were lost.

    • Dee Kay says:

      Yup. I don’t think JFK Jr. was the brightest bulb but he had enough charisma, good looks, family name, and inherited celebrity to get him through a long and successful life without needing to be even moderately intelligent. But where his lack of smarts really hurt him was in his piloting. He chose the difficult route, trying to fly over dark sea instead of taking the long way, following the coast (where there are lights that can help a pilot navigate) and he didn’t have the radio tuned to the right frequency to make a distress call. He just wasn’t a good pilot. He and his wife and his sister-in-law paid dearly for his idiocy.

      • Notanotherpostcard says:

        Dee Kay, you are so right! My husband is a pilot and he said it was 100% pilot error/being arrogant. We would never fly in that weather ourselves and my husband has his IFR license and hundreds of hours more than JFK.

    • iconoclast59 says:

      He was also supposed to have taken off at least an hour or two before he did, but Carolyn was too busy having a hissy fit at the nail salon; she made them redo her manicure twice. If they had left on time, they would’ve been flying in daylight and John Jr. wouldn’t have any problems navigating the horizon. They probably should’ve postponed the flight or made other arrangements, but the wedding was the next day and I’m sure John Jr. felt tremendous pressure to be there by Friday night.

      • Christin says:

        The pressure of getting to the wedding likely led to a very poor decision. I think the other sister had a delay as well (work-related?), so that added to the pressure.

        It wasn’t worth risking the flight with Jr. as pilot, for that reason plus he was still recovering from a leg/ankle injury. He’d been photographed on crutches days before the accident.

      • ex-Mel says:

        I remember one of the many interviews with his friends they did back then. The friend said they were going to take off at 18h, but at 20h his sister-in-law still hadn’t arrived.
        De mortuis … etc., but those two sisters didn’t sound as the most generous or unselfish of souls.
        As for him, I only sort of “like” him because he reminds me of my mother who had something of a crush on him (in her 60s). Me, I never could “get” his attraction. Certainly I’ve dated men who were FAR better looking than him.

      • Holly hobby says:

        As my mother likes to say. Everything happens as it should. It’s destiny.

        Thanks for the jfk jr photos. I had forgotten he was such a handsome man.

      • Darla says:

        Yes, the sister-in-law was delayed at work, Goldman Sachs I believe. For hours. He never should have flown, and the two sisters, well…

        I do believe they each went to their destinies. And each of their characters played a role in that destiny, as character will.

        And yes, he was quite a beautiful man.

  9. LT says:

    I was fascinated by all of the Kennedys growing up (my parents were teenagers when JFK took office, so I had heard lots about Camelot). Despite the glamour, they were a deeply dysfunctional family – Joe Kennedy was basically a crook and treated people (especially his daughters) horribly.

    I was never a huge Carolyn fan and certainly never bought the idea that she was some sort of style icon and effortless beauty. She didn’t strike me as terribly sincere.

    The shame is that the family was so fundamentally sexist, even with my generation. The Kennedy women (Kathleen, Caroline, Rory) were so much more impressive than their cousins and brothers but the family never seemed to get behind them as they did the men…who even a generation removed from JFK and RFK were still wreaking havoc (overdoses, messy affairs, etc).

    • Dara says:

      I’m going to disagree with you about Bessette being a style icon. I think she most definitely was. From her wedding dress to her simple, but impeccable, everyday wardrobe, she was one of a handful of women to transform fashion in the 90′s.

      • LT says:

        I liked what she wore, but it was basically what Calvin Klein had been pushing for years. She was an updated Slim Keith, which was totally fine, but it wasn’t groundbreaking.

      • Dara says:

        Not groundbreaking, but after the poufy, shoulder-padded nonsense of the 80′s it was certainly refreshing. And I think seeing her grace the pages of People and other magazines gave women outside NYC an idea of how Calvin Klein and Narcisso could be worn.

      • L84Tea says:

        I also believe Carolyn single-handedly changed the look of wedding gowns. I never saw sleek slip dresses as wedding gowns until she appeared immaculately simple and classic in her wedding photo.

      • Knitter says:

        @LT, Thanks–I couldn’t put my finger on it, but she reminded me of Slim Keith. You described her look perfectly–a combination of the Calvin Klein and Slim Keith aesthetics.

      • A says:

        She was, for her time, but in retrospect, she really isn’t. She wore some really basic clothes and had a very basic build as a person, but people projected a lot of their expectations onto her and building her up as an unwitting style icon was one of them. But the truth is that neither she, nor Jackie Kennedy for that matter, had much of a fantastic sense of style. They were iconic, but hardly stylish imo.

  10. Veronica S. says:

    I wouldn’t say prince so much as last of the American gentry, if you get my meaning. Attitudes about the wealthy began to shift to a more negative place as the income divide widened in the years following it.

    • A says:

      I think most people are well past the point where they assume that wealth and breeding alone are enough to ensure your capabilities as a human being. Perhaps the wealthy and well-bred haven’t received the memo yet, but the rest of us certainly have, and honestly–this is not a bad thing.

  11. Eric says:

    I think the last Prince is Junior or Jared or Eric.

    Cue sarcasm

  12. Loretta says:

    Kennedy family is so fascinating and tragic. Poor Caroline who has lost both parents and brother

  13. Bettyrose says:

    I was a west coast grad student, a world away from east coast dynasties. Thing I remember most about jr was Elaine from Seinfeld’s crush on him. But his reckless behavior killed two young women.

  14. Smiles says:

    I was 15 when they died and remember that time as if it were yesterday. Although having not really given them a lot of thought before that, I remember feeling so sad. It’s still disappointing to think about his potential- just gone. I have been sort of obsessed with learning more about the both of them ever since. In an alternate universe, I like to think that they continued to weather speculated rough patches and would be together. I have my doubts about his magazine just from an economical and technological standpoint. Politically, I believe he could’ve made such an impact which is what this country and world desperately needs.

  15. Shelley says:

    I remember this very well. I felt so bad for the families. This always merged into when Princess Diana died. Such a sad time.

  16. Christin says:

    When one of Robert’s sons died (I think it was the skiing accident), my father commented that sometimes having too much money and time on one’s hands can be a bad thing.

    John had the means to pursue flying, and was either too confident or perhaps frustrated that evening. Apparently the sisters were late, and he chose to fly despite fog warnings and impending darkness due to starting later. Regardless, it was a tragic ending to three lives.

    • A says:

      It’s amazing how many hobby pilots there are, especially celebrity ones, who wind up passing away because of a plane crash. I’m not saying that flying is something people should stop pursuing, especially if they have the money to do so. But it carries a great deal of risk as well.

  17. Murphy says:

    Yeahhhh I was gonna say, he didn’t have a chance to disappoint us yet. Like all his cousins did.

  18. Sal says:

    He was much better looking than his father. He was probably the most attractive Kennedy in my opinion.

  19. me says:

    I remember his cousin was getting married the weekend of the crash no? That’s why they were flying out. I think the wedding still went ahead didn’t it? The people I feel the most sorry for are JFK Jr’s sister (my God she lost her whole family so young) and of course JFK Jr’s wife’s family (who lost two daughters at the same time). That was just the most tragic thing to me.

  20. Lightpurple says:

    If he lived, he would be 58 years old now. He would, at some point, have entered politics and it would not have been a disaster. He may not have been a genius but he was bright enough and extremely charming and charismatic. And once elected, he would have surrounded himself with capable, good advisers.

    And yes, they would have divorced.

    • AnneC says:

      Maybe it would have been senate minority leader Kennedy rather than Schumer. Her sister was ambassador to Japan under Obama and I think there was some effort into appointing her a senator after Javits died.

      Also check out pictures of Caroline’s son John. He looks a lot like his uncle.

  21. Tori says:

    Now this is a good looking couple! She was gorgeous! So was he.

    • april says:

      Yes indeed. I think the most current couple that reminds me of John and Carolyn is George and Amal Clooney.

  22. Mar says:

    I’ll never forget the day that they died.
    There was so much bad buzz around their marriage at the time.

    I promise you all – I saw him in person as I have seen many famous people before, he was the most stunning man I have ever seen.
    Better than any movie star!!!

    • Digital Unicorn says:

      I’ve read several accounts that say he was VERY handsome in person and that the photo’s/video’s never did him any justice.

      • Kathryn says:

        I was assigned to his mother’s “minder” at some events sponsored by a NYC nonprofit for which Mrs. Onassis was a trustee and I was a staff member. (She was just lovely, by the way – didn’t ask for special treatment, always on time, gracious to everyone). In person, her son was knock down gorgeous. Almost like he glowed.

      • Christin says:

        I have heard a similar thing about Elvis. Both had very distinctive features and kind faces. I cannot imagine how either could have been any more handsome, but obviously they were. I had a big crush on Jr., and thought he seemed so normal for someone who grew up in a fishbowl.

  23. L84Tea says:

    They definitely would’ve been divorced by now. I’m not sure they would’ve even made it another year at that point. He would’ve entered politics and she would likely still be working in fashion and would, I’m betting, still hold the crown of NYC’s ultimate It girl. She was just so damn cool and mysterious. 20 years later and people are still trying to emulate her style.

  24. SJhere says:

    Oh, Goop wishes she could ever look as good as Carolyn did. But, yes completely copying her look.

  25. Snap Happy says:

    No one wore clothes like CBK. You could put the same clothes on 100 women and it wouldn’t look the same. She just had, “it.” I remember feeling devastated for her parents loosing two daughter at once and Caroline Kennedy.

  26. Beach Dreams says:

    Never got the fuss over Bessette. Her style was nice but her actual appearance was nothing special. Maybe the platinum blonde dye job enchanted people (not surprising, given society’s standards of what’s considered attractive).

    • Spargel says:

      I was never interested in JFK JR (least of all now, as he reminds me of my ex-husband), but Carolyn was arresting. To this day she drips style in every photo and knew how to dress “timelessly.” She’s up there with Charlotte Gainsbourg for me. Shallow, I know, but I was fascinated with her charisma. Still am, I suppose.

  27. A says:

    “JFK Jr was America’s last prince.” That’s funny, because I’m pretty sure America’s last prince was his cousin, Anthony Radziwill, given that he was…you know, an actual prince.

    I’m gonna show my age here for a second and just say that I find JFK Jr. and Carolyn Bessette terribly overrated. I know, I know, kids my generation don’t understand what it means to be classy and chic and mysterious because we’re all Instagramming oversharers who don’t know discretion if it hit us over the head with a baseball bat. But I just find the whole Kennedy crowd and the way the media hypes them up to be vastly disproportionate to their actual impact. That includes JFK and Jackie Kennedy. The one interesting thing about Jackie was her marriage to Aristotle Onassis, and that’s pretty much it.

    • hot says:

      They were one of the last patriotic patriachy. And for all their privilege, they loved the ordinary American and cared about the country and making a difference. That’s what makes it extraordinary, specially today when patriotism is a curse word.

    • Dee Kay says:

      I agree with you, A. Vastly overrated and overhyped. The Kennedy performance was one that “sold” in its time. I also agree with hot that the Kennedys believed in public service and that’s great, but the fact is that’s basically what the vast majority of our POTUSes were before Trump. LBJ believed in public service, hell, Nixon wanted to be a public servant, etc. etc. all through Obama, and then we have g-ddamn Trump. Wanting to be a public servant used to be criterion #1 for wanting to get into the White House. I do like plenty of JFK’s awesome speeches and still don’t worship him. As for any noblesse oblige attributions, let’s recall that Joe Kennedy Sr. made his fortune bootlegging with the mob and paid for JFK to win the election.

      For me, the real noblesse oblige family was the Roosevelts. They have risen in my estimation over time, while the Kennedys just seem like flashes in the pan, politically (maybe this is because JFK didn’t even live long enough to complete one term, sadly, and RFK never got his turn. Kudos to Ted Kennedy who actually pushed some meaningful legislation and contributed statesmanship as Senator, though he could never escape Chappaquiddick).

  28. Sarah says:

    I remember that summer so well! Pearl Jam’s Last Kiss was constantly playing on the radio. I associate that song with these two.

  29. a temp new yorker says:

    I remember Harlem’s tribute to this beautiful man. They enlarged a photo of John Jr. and jazz musicians played the entire day of his funeral. It was open to the public. Dignified and fitting. Gone too soon.

  30. Spargel says:

    I was never interested in JFK JR (least of all now, as he reminds me of my ex-husband), but Carolyn was arresting. To this day she drips style in every photo and knew how to dress “timelessly.” She’s up there with Charlotte Gainsbourg for me. Shallow, I know, but I was fascinated with her charisma. Still am, I suppose.

    • Arty says:

      Yes Carolyn had style, and her marriage to JFK Jr had nothing to do with it. in 1991 before she even met John, designers at CK used Carolyn’s style at inspiration. She was handpicked by Kelly Klein in be their PR person.

  31. Nikki says:

    I read Carol Radziwell’s book “What Remains”, and evidently her husband Anthony and JFK Jr. were best friends throughout their lives. Anthony was dying from cancer after an extremely protracted battle, but JFK Jr. died before Anthony, something no one foresaw. Carol was also extremely close to Carolyn Bessette – both came from middle class backgrounds, unlike everyone else in the Kennedy and Radziwell families. So Carol lost her best friend, her husband’s best friend, and soon after, her husband. I felt the sorriest for the Bessette family, and many times thought how glad I was that Jackie didn’t live to see her only surviving son perish.

    • Arty says:

      I read that John and Carolyn wanted to spend the summer of 1999 at Martha’s Vineyard with Anthony Radziwill, and his wife Carole. Just the four of them.

  32. Arty says:

    I disagree with people saying they were going to get a divorce.The media exaggerated their marital problems and downplayed their actual love for each other. When John broke his ankle in May 1999, Carolyn was the one flying to Europe to cover for John in George meetings, Carolyn was the one was frequently visiting John’s dying cousin Anthony Radziwill at the hospital to check up on him. Carolyn was the one overseeing their Cape Cod house’s renovations. The rumors saying they weren’t having sex for over a year are also false. I read in one book about them stating that when Carolyn was asked how she and John managed their sex life with his broken ankle she replied, “..its simple, I get on top and do all the work”. She also wrapped his cast with plastic-wrap, and bathed him three times a day, because he couldn’t. Thats debunks any rumors stating that John and Carolyn weren’t intimate before their deaths.
    Carolyn did get pregnant during that marriage, but it resulted in a miscarriage. There are several pictures of her in November/December 1997 with a baby bump clearly visible. She did want to try again, but she wanted to wait and see what would happen with Anthony and Carole Radziwill’s situation. She was also seeking fertility treatment.

    Many of their close friends had stated that Carolyn was finally settling into her role as Mrs.JFK Jr when the crash happened. So in my opinion NO they weren’t close to getting a divorce.

    NO Carolyn wasn’t a crackhead,
    NO Carolyn wasn’t cheating on John.
    YES John cheated on Carolyn.
    NO Carolyn didn’t hire a personal investigator to tale John, but YES she had suspicions he was cheating, and he did in February 1998 in Aspen with an ex he had a fling with in 1995.

  33. Arty says:

    John would have no support for the #metoo movement thats for sure!
    John defended his cousin Michael Kennedy, who had sexual relations with a 14 year old. What did John say? He said “Michael fell in love with youth and surrounded his judgement in the process, give him a break.”
    John took Bill’s side during the Lewinsky scandal stating that who would turn down oral sex if given the offer? Leave Bill Clinton alone, he’s just loving life.
    Also when sexual harassment allegations came up at George magazine, John dealt with them in the worst way possible. He got angry and intimidated the women who spoke up. To make it clear, those allegations were not against John, but his male staff.
    Oh and John was a closet Republican, he constantly gave more money to Republicans, and also said he would run as a Republican according to Senator D’amato. He claims to be a Democrats only because it runs in his family.