The Kennedy clan is an integral part of American history, dogged throughout their lives by untimely deaths and controversies
Yet another Kennedy bid adieu to life as Mary Richardson Kennedy was found dead in her home Wednesday, May 16. She had been there long enough to become a partner in the Kennedy's rituals of grief - she was there when the clan buried Michael Kennedy, killed in a New Year's Eve skiing accident in 1997, and John F. Kennedy Jr., who died in a plane crash in 1999.
And now, the gathering will be for her, the estranged wife of Robert Kennedy Jr., who hanged herself Wednesday at the family's 10-acre estate in a New York City suburb. Her death, at age 52, came as a shock to some friends and family, even though the past two years had been undeniably tough ones. The couple was going through a divorce, and Mary had been charged twice with driving while intoxicated in 2010.
"A lot of times I don't know how she made it through the day," Robert Kennedy Jr. told The New York Times. "She was in a lot of agony for a lot of her life." Her death resonated, too, with a public that has watched tragedy march through the ranks of the Kennedy clan again and again. Mary was RFK Jr.'s second wife, and she entered the family in less-than-storybook circumstances.
A person familiar with the investigation into her death says authorities have concluded that her death was a suicide. The person was not authorized to release the information and spoke on condition of anonymity.
Robert Kennedy Jr. told the Times that no note was found at the scene.
As well-wishers pray for the soul of Mary, we bring to you a look at the life and death of the Kennedys.