Beyond Camelot: The "New Kennedys" - NECN
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Beyond Camelot: The "New Kennedys"

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    Beyond Camelot: The "New Kennedys"

    For generations of Americans, the Kennedy family was the closest thing to royalty this side of the Atlantic. Joseph Kennedy III, the only family member left on Capitol Hill, says many Kennedys are still finding their own ways to contribute. (Published Thursday, May 14, 2015)

    For generations of Americans, the Kennedy family was the closest thing to royalty this side of the Atlantic.

    John F. Kennedy's presidency started the storyline, and the Camelot era cemented the all-star cast.

    They were young, rich and beautiful - touched by glory, tragedy, triumph and disgrace.

    Those 1960s Kennedys crafted what has become the family legacy - fighting for the underdog and promoting civil rights.

    So does that legacy live on?

    "To me, it is a family that has been dedicated to public service and continues to find ways, to the best of their ability, to serve," said Rep. Joe Kennedy III.

    The 34-year-old congressman is the only Kennedy serving on Capitol Hill these days, though the spotlight has dimmed since the era when his father, Joe Jr., served in Congress, and grandfather Bobby Kennedy was a New York senator and attorney general.

    Kennedy and his twin brother, Matt, who worked for the Obama administration, are among Joseph and Rose Kennedy's dozens of great grandchildren. Most have kept a low profile while promoting their favorite causes, including those started by relatives - like Jack Schlossberg, the eldest grandson of President and Jackie Kennedy, son of Caroline and Ed Schlossberg.

    Jack Schlossberg is a student at Yale and serves on the board of the Profile In Courage Award at the Kennedy Library. His older sister, Rose, serves on the board of the Kennedy Center. His younger sister, Tatiana, is involved in charity work.

    Katherine Schwarzenegger, from the Shriver wing of the family is an author and advocate for young women.

    Back in 2010, Senator Ted Kennedy's grandson, Teddy the third, was feeling pretty confident about his career path.

    "I plan to become the senator of Massachusetts when I turn 45," he told necn five years ago.

    Now a 17-year-old junior at Choate Rosemary Hall he is re-thinking his options.

    "I change what I want to do every day," he said. "I think I have a lot to offer people. I think as long as you work hard, you give back for what you've received, thenyou can't really go wrong."

    This is not to say the Kennedys can't still grab a headline. Patrick Schwarznegger was regular tabloid fare as he dated singer Mylie Cyrus. Robert Kennedy Jr.'s son, Conor, created a media buzz when he dated singer Taylor Swift.

    "I'm very proud that my family, and even a younger generation that is starting to come of age, is finding their own way to contribute," said Rep. Kennedy. "That should be valued far more than some other attempted definition of influence or mystique."

    Kennedy says mystique and relevance are not on anyone's minds when the family gathers at the Kennedy Compound in Hyannisport.

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