John F. Kennedy Jr. was the son of the American President John F. Kennedy, who was President of the United States in the 1960s until his assassination. John F. Kennedy Jr. was born only days after his father was elected president, and he was almost three years old when the elder Kennedy was shot and killed in Dallas, Texas. In his adult life, JFK Jr., as he was often called, was a lawyer and magazine publisher, as well as an amateur pilot. He died in a plane crash in 1999 with his wife and sister-in-law.
The life and death of John F. Kennedy Jr. were highly publicized, both because of his father's life and death and because of JFK Jr.'s notoriety as a playboy. A photo taken of John F. Kennedy Jr. at his father's funeral became iconic: the young boy was saluting as his father's casket passed, and the photo was published throughout the world in newspapers and magazines as a symbol of the nation's mourning. He lived in the White House for the first three years of his life, but after his father's death, John F. Kennedy Jr. lived with his mother, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, in New York City.
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JFK Jr. earned a Juris Doctorate and passed the bar exam on his third try. Speculation abounded that he had earned his JD and passed the bar only to please his mother, and his passions were tied to acting instead. He was generally considered handsome and likable, and many people believed he might run for political office. He started a magazine called George instead. The magazine focused on political themes as well as lifestyle themes, and it was generally well received but short lived. Before he died, John F. Kennedy Jr. speculated that he might have to stop printing the magazine due to a decline in funding.
During the summer of 1999, JFK Jr. was piloting an airplane with his wife and sister-in-law on board, en route to a wedding on Cape Cod. Kennedy lost control of the plane at night, and the plane crashed into the Atlantic Ocean. The bodies were retrieved, and after an investigation, the cause of the crash was found to be pilot error; Kennedy was not qualified to fly the plane with instruments only, which is sometimes necessary in inclement weather or at night. His death perpetuated what many have dubbed the "Kennedy Curse," or the untimely deaths of men in the Kennedy family.