10 of History’s Most Famous Black Sheep
Less than favorite sons (and daughters)
Too many Kennedys to list – The Kennedys have a special place in the hearts of all Americans. No other family has given so much – slain World War II hero Joe Kennedy Jr., assassinated President John F. Kennedy, murdered U.S. Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy – not to mention tragic John-John Kennedy Jr. However, no other family has seen so much scandal, either. Teddy Kennedy’s presidential ambitions were permanently thwarted in 1969 when he drove a car off of Chappaquidick Bridge on Martha's Vineyard. His female companion drowned while he dithered ... and deep-sixed his high political aspirations. His son Patrick Kennedy, a congressman from Rhode Island treated for cocaine abuse as a teen, crashed his Ford Mustang into a barricade on Capitol Hill, then claimed he was disoriented from prescription medications – although police said he smelled of alcohol. He then checked himself into a drug rehab clinic in Minnesota. Years earlier, he had been hanging out in a Florida bar with his cousin, William Kennedy Smith, who was charged that evening with raping a young woman. Now, shall we begin listing the alleged affairs with famous actresses? Why are the Kennedys so prone to scandal? “It's hard to tell,” said Noemie Emery, author of Great Expectations: The Troubled Lives of Political Families, “but it does seem that it crops up in some ways in almost every political family.” Even Ronald Reagan had a son who denounced him and another who told the press that not only was he a ballet dancer, but he was gay – not exactly the Reagan family image.