Victoria Reggie Kennedy was already an accomplished person before she became famous after she married into the Kennedy family. She was a phenomenal and brilliant woman who trained as a lawyer and had a reputation as a hard worker and a tough negotiator as a corporate lawyer.
Notably, Victoria is fiercely loyal and has been credited as the individual who changed the course of Ted Kennedy’s life and career after they met. Due to her intelligence, honesty, and wisdom, her counsel was highly valued by all, including her late husband.
Victoria Reggie Kennedy’s Background
She was born Victoria Anne Reggie in Crowley, Louisiana on the 26th of February 1954. Her parents were Edmund Reggie (who was a judge and banker in Louisiana) and Doris Ann Boustany (who was a Democratic National Committeewoman). Being the 2nd of 6 children, Victoria and her siblings attended the best of schools as her family was quite wealthy. They came into their wealth from an interest in the Bunny Bread baking concern, New Orleans.
Victoria got most of her early education from parochial schools and was a Straight-A student. She also went to Newcomb College, Tulane University, New Orleans where she got her B.A. in English. She then proceeded to receive her Juris Doctor degree with distinction from Tulane University Law School in 1979.
She grew up in a family constantly involved in campaigns and politics and with her siblings, their education in Tulane was paid for by scholarships from her father’s political ally.
Career and First Marriage
After her law degree, she began to work as a clerk in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, Chicago for Judge Robert Arthur Sprecher. She met her first husband – Grier C. Raclin who was then a telecommunications attorney when they clerked together at a Federal Courthouse. They were married in 1981 in a week-long ceremony with 400 guests.
Victoria specialized in bank law and worked for Keck, Mahin & Gate in savings, banking and loan law and also restructuring and bankruptcy law. She was known as a hard negotiator in settlement talks who had charisma and was hardworking and she also made partner with the firm.
She had two children (Curran b 1982 and Caroline born 1985) with her first husband. But by 1990, they were divorced and she was left to juggle her career as a lawyer and a single mother.
How She Met The Kennedys
Due to her family’s political standing, they have always had a close relationship with the Kennedys. Victoria threw a party for her parents’ 40th wedding anniversary where Ted Kennedy was in attendance. He noticed her and helped out in the kitchen during the celebration. They reignited their friendship and soon began to date. Because Victoria had two little children, she couldn’t go out on dates with him and he came over to their house for dinner during their courtship.
Ted Kennedy who was already divorced was in a bad place in his life when he met Victoria Reggie Kennedy. His reputation was in tatters for constantly womanizing, drug and alcohol abuse. All that changed when he met Victoria. They were engaged in March and got married in July 1992. Victoria became the stabilizing force in his life and career. She totally changed him and became his trusted adviser which helped him resume a productive career in the Senate. Throughout his senatorial career, she was his closest political advisor and principal assistant. Despite her many successes as an attorney, by 1997, she was no longer in active practice but dedicated herself to the Kennedy family, especially after the death of John F. Kennedy, Jr. in 1999.
In 2008, Ted was diagnosed with brain cancer, and Victoria became his primary caregiver. He died on the 25th of August 2009.
Where is Ted Kennedy’s Wife Now?
After her husband’s death, it was assumed that she would be appointed to take his seat before the special election took place but Victoria Reggie Kennedy declined. She has constantly declined every offer for her to run for a seat in the senate. She has busied herself with her several projects and engagements. She co-founded the Common Sense about Kids and Guns advocacy group in 1999 and continues to be actively involved with advocacy.
She has spoken at several graduation ceremonies and has been awarded honorary degrees by Lesley University, the University of Maryland and the University of Massachusetts, Boston.
Victoria received the ‘Woman of the 21st Century’ award by Women’s Guild of Cedars-Sinai Center in 2013. In 2014 she was nominated by President Barack Obama to serve as Governor of the United States Postal Service, a term that expired in 2016.
She has also served as the president of the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States since her husband’s passing.
Victoria has gradually returned to her law profession. She works as a high-level corporate lawyer and joined Greenberg Traurig as a senior counsel in 2015.