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Tragedy has come often for the Kennedy family. Saoirse Kennedy Hill’s death at 22 is the latest.

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On June 6, 2000, a small girl in a soft pink dress stood before the Arlington National Cemetery grave of former president John F. Kennedy, who had been assassinated decades before she was born. She placed a white rose by the Eternal Flame that stood watch over his resting place as mourners, all dressed in black, somberly looked on.

The girl was JFK’s great-niece, Saoirse Kennedy Hill. Her grandfather, Robert F. Kennedy — who also met an untimely end: assassinated during his presidential campaign in 1968 — is buried in an adjacent grave.

On Thursday, Kennedy Hill, 22, was found dead at the famed Kennedy family compound in Hyannis Port, Mass., becoming the latest in a long line of tragedies that the American political dynasty has endured for generations.

“Our hearts are shattered by the loss of our beloved Saoirse,” the Kennedy family said in a statement to The Washington Post. “Her life was filled with hope, promise and love.” Officials have not provided a cause of death, though two people told the New York Times she had died of an apparent overdose.

Another of Kennedy Hill’s great uncles, the late senator Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.), once spoke of a family “curse,” after an infamous 1969 car incident killed his female passenger, Mary Jo Kopechne. Several of the Kennedys’ most famous scions — a president, a leading contender for president, a U.S. senator and liberal lion, and a beloved socialite — met an untimely death or suffered great personal traumas. But they weren’t the only ones.

John F. Kennedy

America’s 35th president entered the White House on a wellspring of promise but left it in tragedy. Kennedy was assassinated on Nov. 22, 1963, in a shooting in Dallas.

He was second of nine children born to Joseph and Rose Kennedy, and his death shook the nation. He was not the first, or the last, Kennedy to die unexpectedly.

Robert F. Kennedy

Robert, who famously served as his older brother’s attorney general during his presidency, built a lasting political legacy of his own. He was elected U.S. senator from New York in 1965. During his presidential campaign in 1968, he was assassinated in Los Angeles after delivering a California primary victory speech.

Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr.

The oldest of the Kennedy siblings, Joseph was a Navy pilot during World War II. He flew numerous combat missions but perished in a mysterious in-flight explosion, during a secret mission gone awry.

Read entire article at The Washington Post

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