Born In: Brighton, Massachusetts, United States
Joe Kennedy III is an American lawyer and politician who served as the U.S. Representative from 2013 to 2021. Born into famed Kennedy dynasty, which has produced many stalwarts like President J. F. Kennedy, Ted Kennedy and Robert Kennedy, he was introduced to the art of politics early in his life. Nonetheless, after graduating from Stanford University, he spent two years at Dominican Republic, living among the tourist guides at Río Damajagua and on returning home entered Harvard Law School, earning his Juris Doctor degree in 2009. In 2012, he resigned from his role as assistant district attorney and ran for the U.S. House of Representative from Massachusetts's 4th congressional district, winning the election with 59.3%. Sworn in on January 3, 2013, he served the House for four consecutive terms before deciding to run for the Senate; but lost in the Democratic primary election, held in September 2020. Currently, he is working for Groundwork Project, a grassroots organization he had launched in January 2021.
Nick Name: Milkman
Also Known As: Joseph Patrick Kennedy III
Spouse/Ex-: Lauren Anne Birchfield
father: Joseph P. Kennedy II
mother: Sheila Brewster Rauch
siblings: Matthew Rauch Kennedy
children: Eleanor Kennedy, James Matthew Kennedy
Born Country: United States
Ancestry: Dutch American, Irish American
U.S. State: Massachusetts
education: Harvard Law School (2009), Stanford University (2003), Buckingham Browne & Nichols Upper School
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Joseph Patrick “Joe” Kennedy III was born on October 4, 1980 in the Brighton neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts. His father, Joseph Patrick Kennedy II, is a businessman. He is also a Democratic politician, who served as a member of the United States House of Representatives for ten long years.
His mother, Sheila Brewster nee Rauch, comes from a banking family. Born younger of his parents’ two sons, he has a fraternal twin brother called Matthew Skakel "Matt" Kennedy, born eight minutes before him. Initially, they were raised in Brighton and Marshfield.
The boys were introduced to the art of politics early in their life, accompanying their father on his campaign trail in 1986. However, Joe’s childhood goal was to become a marine biologist and to scale Mount Everest.
Possibly in 1989, their mother moved out of their Brighton home and settled down in Cambridge, formally divorcing their father in 1991. Thereafter, the boys began to shift between Brighton and Cambridge, eventually being admitted to Buckingham Browne & Nichols School in Cambridge.
Little is known about his school years, except that Joe liked to play by the rules even then. According to his brother Matt, he always made sure that his brother never broke curfew in high school.
In 1999, both the boys graduated from Buckingham Browne & Nichols School and entered Stanford University with management science and engineering. During this period, Joe played lacrosse, serving as a goalkeeper and co-captain for his team.
In 2003, after graduating from Stanford, Joe joined the Peace Corps and in 2004 moved to Dominican Republic’s Puerto Plata province. Fluent in Spanish, he helped the tourist guides at Río Damajagua to acquire new skills and better their lot.
In April 2006, Joe Kennedy returned to Massachusetts and enrolled at Harvard Law School. At the same time, he also joined his brother, Mathew, to co-chair his great uncle, Ted Kennedy’s reelection campaign.
While studying at Harvard Law School, he started working for Harvard Legal Aid Bureau. In 2007, he cofounded Picture This: Justice and Power with his future wife, Lauren Anne Birchfield. It was an after- school empowerment program for at-risk inner-city junior high students.
In 2008, he provided legal aid to low-income tenants with foreclosure cases. He also served as the technical editor for the Harvard Human Rights Journal, sat on the Board of the Robert F. Kennedy Children’s Action Corps and during the summer worked as an intern at the Cape and Islands District Attorney's Office.
In 2009, he earned his Juris Doctor degree and joined the Cape and Islands Office as an Assistant District Attorney, working in that position until September 2011. Thereafter, he moved to the Middlesex County, Massachusetts District Attorney's Office as an Assistant DA.
In February 2012, Joe Kennedy III announced that he would leave his job and run for the U.S. House of Representatives in Massachusetts' fourth district. Soon, he started campaigning, pledging his support for tax reform, gay marriage, women's rights and President Obama's healthcare policy.
During the campaign, he stressed on a balanced budget and for economic development through investments in education and infrastructure projects. He also remembered his great uncle, Massachusetts Senator, Ted Kennedy, and referred to the work done by him for his constituent.
A clear favorite, he won the September 6, 2012 primary election with over 90% votes. Thereafter, on November 6, 2012, he was elected to the House of Representatives, receiving 59.3% (221,303) votes against Republican candidate Sean Bielat. He was eventually sworn into the 113th U.S. Congress on January 3, 2013.
Although he wanted a berth on the House Education Committee so that he could work on legislations relating to early childhood education, college accessibility, and work force training, he did not get it. Instead, he was assigned to the Committee on Foreign Affairs and the Committee on Science, Space and Technology.
In February 2013, as a member of Committee on Science, Space and Technology, Kennedy questioned Texas Instruments President and CEO, Richard Templeton, on cases of cancer diagnosed among the workers of the former Metals and Controls plant. Earlier it made nuclear fuels and other radioactive component.
In May 2013, as a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, he traveled to Afghanistan with four other legislators, meeting President Hamid Karzai and some members of the military. Later in the same month, he was named chairman of Governor Deval Patrick's STEM Advisory Council.
In the 2014 election, he ran unopposed both in the primary and general elections and was reelected to the House with 184,158 votes (97.9%) on November 4, 2014.
In the 2016 election, he ran unopposed in the primary. In the General election, held on November 8, he defeated his nearest rival, Republican candidate David A. Rosa, by 152,768 votes, receiving a total of 70.1% votes.
In January 2018, he was chosen to give the Democratic response to President Donald Trump's State of the Union address. He was also mentioned as a potential candidate for the 2018 Massachusetts gubernatorial election. However, he declined the offer and instead ran for reelection to the House, winning it unopposed.
In November 2018, he reversed his position on legalization of marijuana and endorsed legalization at the federal level. One year later, when Donald Trump formally notified United Nations that USA would withdraw from Paris Agreement on Climate Change, Kennedy became vocal against it.
In 2020, he decided not to run for the House, instead challenging incumbent Senator Ed Markey in the Democratic primary election for a bid at the Senate. He lost the election as Markey received 55.35% against his 44.51%.
In spite of the defeat, Joe Kennedy continues to work. He launched a new political action committee called Groundwork Project in January 2021. It is a grassroots organization that aims to help Democrats broaden their base in Massachusetts and beyond.
On December 1, 2012, Joe Kennedy married his Harvard classmate Lauren Anne Birchfield. The couple has two children, a daughter named Eleanor (born in 2015) and a son named James Mathew Kennedy (born in 2017).
Joe Kennedy was nicknamed ‘Milkman’ by his friends at Stanford because he would not take alcohol.
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