Joe Kennedy III, who follows the illustrious legacy of his family, is an American lawyer and politician currently serving as the United States Representative of the 4th Congressional District of Massachusetts. He has held this position since 2012 and has even gone on to vie for a seat as a senator.
These achievements attest to the fact that his clan is the most distinguished political family in America. Over the past 70 years, his family has provided an American President, members of Congress and the Senate, a Governor, and an Attorney General. History has it that every year since 1947, the Kennedys have had at least one top elected official in Washington.
Joe Kennedy III Was Exposed to Politics as a Child
Joe was born on the 4th of October 1980 to Sheila Brewster and Joseph Patrick “Joe” Kennedy II in the Boston neighborhood of Brighton. Joe Kennedy III grew up in Brighton and the seaside Marshfield, spending summers on Cape Cod as well.
Thanks to being a Kennedy, he got exposed to politics early as a kid. His parents worked in the 1980 U.S. presidential campaign of Senator Ted Kennedy.
In 1986, Joe’s dad was appointed to Congress. Sadly, the political pressures weakened the marriage of Joseph and Sheila and they separated in 1991. One of the repercussions of the divorce was that Joe and his fraternal twin brother, Matthew, were forced to shuttle between Brighton and Cambridge in the years that followed.
The Kennedy Family Has Produced Some of the Finest Politicians in the United States
The Kennedy family is notable for being a political dynasty in the United States as they have always been at the helm of the country’s political affairs. History has it that the first member of the Kennedy family to be elected to serve in a public office was Patrick Joseph Kennedy. This was back in 1884 when the clan had just migrated into the United States from Ireland.
His son, Joseph P. Kennedy Sr. also towed in the footsteps of his father to become a politician, likewise John F. Kennedy, Patrick’s grandson who held various political positions in the United States before eventually becoming the 35th president of the nation.
Other notable members of the political clan include Robert F. Kennedy, a U.S Attorney General who served as a member of the U.S Senate. His son Chris Kennedy vied for the position of governor in Illinois during the 2018 elections. More so, it is known that Caroline Kennedy, the daughter of former U.S president, JFK, was once an ambassador to Japan. Her son Jack Kennedy Schlossberg is aspiring to be a politician too.
The list of politicians in the Kennedy family, which is quite an extensive one, also includes the likes of former U.S politicians, Ted Kennedy Sr. and his son, Ted Kennedy Jr. Descendants of the Kennedy family include a myriad of other names who have held positions in law and other intellectual pursuits in the United States.
His Political Journey Began in 2006
Joe’s desire to be a politician is believed to have been nurtured right from his days at Stanford University where he gained a bachelor’s degree in Management Science and Engineering. After graduating in 2003, he joined the Peace Corps, a voluntary program run by the Government of the United States with the formal mission of providing social and economic development overseas through technical help. Being a fluent Spanish speaker, Joe worked in the Dominican Republic’s Puerto Plata province from 2004 to 2006, assisting local tour guides in the 27 Charcos Reserve in the Damajagua River Park.
Being a Kennedy, he reformed the group with some outside support, helping guides to restore sections of the park and improving capabilities to make the facility more appealing to tourists. The vibrant young man also worked in the Peace Corps as an Anti-Poverty Consultant for the Office of the President of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste and as a Research Analyst for the UN Development Program.
Upon his return to Massachusetts in April 2006, he worked with his brother, to campaign for Ted Kennedy’s reelection, and in that same period, he got admitted into Harvard Law School. During his time there, he championed several legal movements and served in diverse capacities including being a technical editor for Havard Human Rights Journal. He eventually got hired as an Assistant District Attorney (DA) at the Cape and Islands Office after he completed his course in 2009. This was followed by his short-lived employment as an assistant DA at the Middlesex County, Massachusetts District Attorney’s Office in September 2011.
Joe Kennedy III Joined the U.S House of Representatives in 2012
After severing in the Massachusetts DA’s office for a couple of months, Joe Kennedy III announced in January 2012 that he was going to contest in the 4th congressional district of the state. According to the politician, his intention to run for a seat in the 4th district was to have a direct relationship with the people in order to know their challenges and get ideas that will help meet their needs.
By February 2012, he was officially part of those running for the election, and thanks to his family roots, many Democrats in Massachusetts gave him their full support. Joe Kennedy III went on to win up to 90% of the votes at the primary held on September 6th, 2012. A few months later, on November 6th, 2012, he got a seat in the House of Representatives after winning Sean Bielat the Republican candidate with more than 60% of the vote.
He Lost His 2020 Senatorial Campaign to Ed Markey
In a bid to move forward in his career and service to his people, Joe announced on August 26th, 2019 that there was a chance of him entering the primary election for the U.S senatorial campaign. By September 21st, 2019, a formal announcement was made to endorse his candidacy. However, he was unsuccessful this time around as Ed Markey defeated him during the Democratic primary on September 1st, 2020.
It was gathered that he lost to Markey who is currently serving as a senator because of a poor presentation of his reasons for vying for the position. Senator Ed Markey also had a strong influence on young voters who trooped out to cast their votes for him. This was attributed to the fact that while Kennedy got his endorsement from the House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Markey was soaring on the wings of Senator Elizabeth Warren and the youth group, Sunrise Movement.
The Politician’s Wife Is a Lawyer He Met at Harvard Law School
Joe Kennedy III is married to Lauren Birchfield, a University of California Political Science graduate. She is also a lawyer and attended Harvard Law School where she met her husband.
Lauren and Joe graduated in 2009 from law school. He proposed in January 2012, and in a ceremony at the coastal community church in Corona del Mar, California, the couple got married later that year.
The couple currently has 2 kids: Eleanor Anne Kennedy was born in 2015 and James Matthew Kennedy in 2017. The family lives in Newton, Massachusetts.
Joe’s Wife Is Passionate About Promoting Human Welfare
Lauren is notable as a co-founder of Neighborhood Villages, an organization that operates to provide kids with accessible, high-quality health care and schooling. More so, she is known to have served as the Director of Health Policy at the National Partnership for Women & Families in Washington, D.C.
Lauren was also at the forefront of campaigns that agitated for the enforcement of the Affordable Care Act back in 2015, to help women reduce the cost of health bills. Her other works include serving on the U.S advocacy firm NARAL Pro-Choice America, the Boston Medical Center, and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation, among several other establishments.