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Patrick Bouvier Kennedy

Patrick Kennedy
Gravestone in the Kennedy family plot in Arlington National Cemetery
Born (1963-08-07)August 7, 1963
Otis Air Force Base, Bourne, Massachusetts, U.S.
Died August 9, 1963(1963-08-09) (aged 2 days)
Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
Cause of death Hyaline membrane disease
Parent(s) John F. Kennedy (1917–1963)
Jacqueline Lee Bouvier (1929–1994)

Patrick Bouvier Kennedy (August 7, 1963 – August 9, 1963) was the last child of United States President John F. Kennedy and First Lady Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy. He was the brother of Caroline and John Jr.


  • Biography 1
  • See also 2
  • References 3
  • External links 4


Patrick Bouvier Kennedy was born by emergency caesarean section five and a half weeks early at the Otis Air Force Base Hospital in Bourne, Massachusetts. His birth weight was 4 pounds 10 12 ounces (2.11 kg).[1] Shortly after birth he developed symptoms of hyaline membrane disease, now called infant respiratory distress syndrome (IRDS). He was transferred to Boston Children's Hospital where he died two days later, following treatment in a hyperbaric chamber.[2] At that time, all that could be done for a baby with hyaline membrane disease was to make efforts to keep the patient's blood chemistry as close to normal as possible.

Patrick Kennedy's death, eclipsed a few months later by his father's assassination in Dallas, did in time help spark interest in research on prematurity and led to innovations in the care of premature infants, which gave rise to the pediatrics subspecialty neonatology.[3] A funeral mass was held on August 10, 1963, in the private chapel of Cardinal Richard Cushing in Boston. The child was initially buried at Holyhood Cemetery – the final resting place of Rose and Joe Kennedy – in Brookline, Massachusetts. His body and that of a stillborn sister, whom Jacqueline Kennedy called Arabella, were re-interred on December 5, 1963, alongside their father at Arlington National Cemetery, and later again moved to their permanent graves in Section 45, Grid U-35.[4][5]

The First Lady and the President were deeply affected by the the death and it also had an impact on their marriage. Upon their departure from Otis Air Force Base, both were seen holding hands, a gesture usually not seen with the couple who were reluctant to intimacy publicly. Secret Service agent Clint Hill recalled the couple having "a distinctly closer relationship" that was visible following Patrick's death. Press secretary Pierre Salinger believed that while the President and First Lady had been brought closer by the White House, even more so were they by the passing of their last child.[6]

See also


  1. ^ Quinn-Musgrove, Sandra L. and Kanter, Sanford (1995) America's Royalty: All the Presidents' Children Greenwood. ISBN 0313295352
  2. ^ Altman, Lawrence K. (July 29, 2013). "A Kennedy Baby's Life and Death".  
  3. ^ Stevens, Timothy; Sinkin, Robert (May 5, 2007). "Surfactant Replacement Therapy" (PDF). CHEST Journal ( 
  4. ^ Anthony, Carl Sferrazza (2002) The Kennedy White House: Family Life and Pictures, 1961-1963 Touchstone. ISBN 0743222210
  5. ^ Smith, Sally Bedell (2004) Grace and Power: The Private World of the Kennedy White House New York: Random House. ISBN 0375504494
  6. ^ Levingston, Steven (October 24, 2013). "For John and Jackie Kennedy, the death of a son may have brought them closer".  

External links

  • President John F. Kennedy on the Death of His Infant Son Patrick Bouvier Kennedy Shapell Manuscript Foundation
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