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Revealing the Real
(and Very Complicated)
John F. Kennedy Jr. 20 Years After
His Death: 'He Was Two People'

Original Article

Posted By: StormCnter, 7/2/2019 12:31:25 PM

It was 20 summers ago that John F. Kennedy Jr.‘s plane crashed into the Atlantic Ocean amid thick fog — killing him and his two passengers, wife Carolyn Bessette Kennedy and her sister, Lauren Bessette, on their way to a Kennedy family wedding. Three lives, ended. And America’s most famous political family dealt another fatal blow. Now historian Steven M. Gillon has written the biography America’s Reluctant Prince, excerpted in this week’s PEOPLE and in bookstores July 9, which offers the first in-depth examination of John’s life. It reveals a man far more complicated than he might have seemed.


No, I won't be buying the book. It's really difficult to swallow stories about how HARD it is to be beautiful, famous, rich, and privileged.

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Reply 1 - Posted by: PlayItAgain 7/2/2019 12:45:21 PM (No. 112017)
It probably was very difficult to grow up being JFK Jr., having lost his very famous father at such a young age. I cannot relate to this. That said, his choices were his own to make. And he grew up to be a very reckless man. That entire Kennedy clan was such a mess.
30 people like this.

Reply 2 - Posted by: earlybird 7/2/2019 12:53:13 PM (No. 112025)
It may have been hard for him because he may have realized how ordinary HE was. He managed to be the best-looking in the entire Kennedy family, thanks to his mother’s features and coloring. None of the washed-out Kennedy genes showed through. I don’t believe he had great things ahead of him because I don’t believe he wanted them. Unlike the Biden disasters, I don’t believe John thought he was owed anything. He’d have preferred to just be himself, for whatever that would turn out to be. Have his own life, his own friends. No legend business. Just my opinion.
27 people like this.

Reply 3 - Posted by: AltaD 7/2/2019 12:55:21 PM (No. 112026)
His death was a tragedy for his mother but his in-laws lost two children that night due to his negligence. The Bessettes are the family I felt for 20 years ago.
23 people like this.

Reply 4 - Posted by: Nevadadad46 7/2/2019 12:55:28 PM (No. 112027)
My mother was an incredible Kennedy fan. She really was of the mind they were heaven-sent to save America and give this country back its soul. Every emotion possible for a human to suffer or enjoy, she experienced with the Kennedys. But, after the assassinations (of John and Bobby) and Jackie married that fiat pig Onasis and John-John grew up and became the playboy he did become and the exceptional history of Teddy unfolded, she changed her feelings about the Kennedys. She came to the rather creepy conclusion they were not Heaven-sent, but Hell sent I was kind of shocked, then John Jr. died in the plane crash and Mother was absolutely convinced- Angels were battling demons (of course, she saw the movie 'The Omen" and had a vivid imagination and a smattering of religious study). You know what? Now, I am coming around to kind of see what she was talking about. The entire Kennedy clan seems cursed - What family have ever known that has gone throughw hat the Kennedy's have?
8 people like this.

Reply 5 - Posted by: ladydawgfan 7/2/2019 12:58:33 PM (No. 112029)
"America’s Reluctant Prince??" Media kissazzes always seem to forget that our forefathers fought a revolutionary war to break away from royalty. This country has NO princes, reluctant or otherwise!! And while I'm sorry that his life and the lives of his wife and her sister were cut off so early, I am NOT sorry that the leftist party was deprived of their candidate who was obviously being groomed as the second coming of "Camelot." We are finished with the Kennedy clan and their phony baloney clan of ragtag misfits!!
31 people like this.

Reply 6 - Posted by: Newtsche 7/2/2019 1:03:40 PM (No. 112035)
John John long long gone gone **yawn yawn**
15 people like this.

Reply 7 - Posted by: Rama41 7/2/2019 1:06:52 PM (No. 112039)
Minor point, but the first sentence is wrong. There was no "thick fog". He was a VFR pilot flying over water at night with an obscured horizon. Too common an accident among VFR pilots.
22 people like this.

Reply 8 - Posted by: pros7767 7/2/2019 1:24:25 PM (No. 112051)
Long before he passed, his mother predicted he would die in a plane. She begged him not to become a pilot. He waited until she passed to start flying. He was madly in love with an actress (I forget who) and his mother disapproved because of her husband's proclivities with Marilyn. Instead he married the Caroline Bessette who apparently had more issues than you could count. If you can't deal with the spotlight, you have no business marrying a Kennedy, especially John. Nonetheless, his death was a self-imposed tragedy. Unfortunately, he took 2 people with him. America, however is better off with him gone. He would have been foisted upon us as the next savior, although we might have dodged the Obie disaster.
13 people like this.

Reply 9 - Posted by: trackman999 7/2/2019 1:36:12 PM (No. 112054)
# 3 His mother died ( 1994) before he did.
4 people like this.

Reply 10 - Posted by: Corndoggies 7/2/2019 1:44:50 PM (No. 112061)
It wouldn't take much to convince me hitlery had something to do with his death. She wanted to be the Senator of NY and wouldn't have stood a chance against Jr. And what hitlery wants, hitlery gets. Well, except for the Presidency bwahahaha.
10 people like this.

Reply 11 - Posted by: DVC 7/2/2019 1:55:23 PM (No. 112068)
Hmmm. I really don't care. He was a pretty unskilled pilot, and that is one area where your "do you know who I am?" attitude will get you nothing except dead. The laws of physics don't care on whit WHO you are, and being a pilot demands that you understand aerodynamics and fly your aircraft within it's limitations AND YOUR LIMITATIONS. Outside of that, I have no idea, but most Kennedys were worthless people, with the possible exception of Jack in WW2 and his dead brother. The rest of them did far more harm to the world than good.
18 people like this.

Reply 12 - Posted by: DVC 7/2/2019 1:57:07 PM (No. 112069)
It's areal shame that so many like your mother, #4, were so totally taken in and fooled by the Kennedys.
6 people like this.

Reply 13 - Posted by: snakeoil 7/2/2019 1:58:39 PM (No. 112072)
He wasn't as nasty as some of his clan. He gave me one of my favorite NY Post headlines when he failed to pass the bar exam: Hunk Flunks. RIP Little Prince.
8 people like this.

Reply 14 - Posted by: M2 7/2/2019 2:16:00 PM (No. 112090)
People are not that complicated. Almost every person on the face of the earth wants to love and be loved, wants their life to be meaningful, and wants to be comfortable. Almost everybody. I don’t think JFK is any more complicated than anyone else. But since he is a liberal icon, they want to make him out to be super complex and smarter than the average bear.
11 people like this.

Reply 15 - Posted by: hammondb3 7/2/2019 2:38:13 PM (No. 112113)
#4, And the vast majority of these 'curses' were actually the result of decisions. We do not know the real details of why JFK and Bobby were assassinated. We cannot be too certain that their decisions played no role in those two deaths. But we know the rest of the family's history and how they built their empire in the illegal liquor trade. Cursed? I tend to think it is more like reaping what is sown.
12 people like this.

Reply 16 - Posted by: Vaquero45 7/2/2019 2:48:49 PM (No. 112120)
Yeah, right.... he was two people - and each one of them thought the other one had an instrument rating, but they were both wrong.
23 people like this.

Reply 17 - Posted by: shalimar 7/2/2019 2:54:50 PM (No. 112127)
He's a legal resident but not a citizen. Has a green card.
0 people like this.

Reply 18 - Posted by: shalimar 7/2/2019 2:55:53 PM (No. 112128)
Oops. Ignore post 17. Meant for a different thread.
0 people like this.

Reply 19 - Posted by: varkdriver 7/2/2019 3:00:58 PM (No. 112134)
#7, thank you for bringing that up. He took off from Caldwell Airport (about 5 miles from where I was raised; flew out of there in small airplanes a time or two) much later than planned and arrived near Martha's after dark. The Piper Saratoga was fully IFR instrumented, but he was not trained to fly IFR. And trying to fly VFR at night over the water is deadly UNLESS there is a shoreline with lots of lights and a discernible horizon. As you noted, the phrase "continued VFR flight into IFR conditions" has killed hundreds (or more) general aviation pilots/passengers over the years.
16 people like this.

Reply 20 - Posted by: Chuzzles 7/2/2019 3:12:22 PM (No. 112143)
I never felt sorry for the Bessette family, simply because it was due to the slacker Lauren that they got such a late start. True, he should have put off the flight until the next morning, but it was Lauren and her tardiness that contributed to this. I don't feel sorry for that family at all. I do feel for Caroline, for she lost her brother. That was sad. I think that JFK jr would have been very contented just running his magazine and flying his planes. He was not interested in being some kind of family legend. His mother did right by her children on may levels. He was a throwback to his maternal grandfather, Black Jack Bouvier, from whence the good looks of Jackie came from. I do think it was telling that he waited until after his mom died before settling on a bride. I suspect Jackie would have stuck her nose into it, and he didn't want that. Don't blame him.
2 people like this.

Reply 21 - Posted by: Omen55 7/2/2019 3:16:21 PM (No. 112146)
If he had run for the NY Senate seat then Hillary would have lost against him for sure. So croc tears from them.
4 people like this.

Reply 22 - Posted by: Rather Read 7/2/2019 3:38:48 PM (No. 112173)
I never understood the fascination with the Kennedys. My grandparents loved them dearly since they were Catholics and my grandfather had faced real prejudice during the presidential candidacy of Alfred Smith. Me - I didn't get their appeal at all. Then when I read about them, especially old Joe Kennedy (who was evil) I really grew to dislike almost all of them with the exception of Eunice Shriver who was a good woman. John Jr. would probably have been a lot happier if he had been plain old John Fitzgerald Brown and could have lived his life away from the glare of the media.
5 people like this.

Reply 23 - Posted by: red1066 7/2/2019 3:44:31 PM (No. 112177)
He may have been beautiful, famous, and rich, but he was also extremely stupid. He crashed that plane because he was not certified to fly at night, and he knew it, but did it anyway. It would be one thing if he flew the plane into ground when he was by himself, but he took other people with him.
7 people like this.

Reply 24 - Posted by: Nimby 7/2/2019 3:53:44 PM (No. 112183)
Who cares if he was schizophrenic or had multiple personalities?
2 people like this.

Reply 25 - Posted by: zephyrgirl 7/2/2019 4:21:56 PM (No. 112207)
I admit I felt a rush of relief for the country when his plane crashed, knowing that the last viable (and grossly unqualified) Kennedy would not be able to run for office. Little did I know at the time that we'd get someone even more unqualified a mere 9 years later.
6 people like this.

Reply 26 - Posted by: Quigley 7/2/2019 4:38:06 PM (No. 112215)
FTA: “and in those final years he [kennedy] figured it out. What he discovered was that politics was part of his DNA. … I think he was ready to answer that call.” A shudder of horror ran up my spine when i read those words.
7 people like this.

Reply 27 - Posted by: bad-hair 7/2/2019 6:28:36 PM (No. 112291)
He was rich enough to hire a real pilot to come along and didn't. He was arrogant enough to think he could fly the dam thing and stupid enough to not have situational awareness relating to weather, time of day, and gottagetthere syndrome. Pity his passengers trusted him. Teddy Kennedy in the sky.
5 people like this.

Reply 28 - Posted by: udanja99 7/2/2019 6:48:24 PM (No. 112308)
Oh, please. Every family has tragedies and every human being is complicated.
6 people like this.

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