Christopher Lawford, JFK’s nephew and the son of Patricia Kennedy and Peter Lawford, has died at the age of 63. No cause of death has been made public. His death was announced by his cousin, Robert Kennedy’s daughter, Kerry Kennedy, on Twitter. Kerry said, “We mourn the loss of my cousin Christopher Lawford, Rest in Peace.” Lawford is survived by his three children.
Lawford was an actor, author and political activist. He worked with his uncle, the late Senator Ted Kennedy, as well as authoring the New Times bestseller, ?Symptoms of Withdrawal. That’s in addition to appearing in Terminator III, Frasier and All My Children.
Lawford’s mother was JFK’s sister, Patricia Kennedy, and his father was Rat Pack actor, Peter Lawford. The couple was married in 1954 and had four children together. Christopher was the oldest, his other siblings were three sisters, Sydney, Victoria and Robin. In 1961, Peter Lawford and his manager, Milt Ebbins, named their production company after Christopher, Chrislaw Productions.
In a 1991 People Magazine feature, Lawford spoke about his battle with drug abuse in the 1970s. While a student at Fordham University, Lawford was forced to drop out due to his heroin addiction. In another instance, Lawford was arrested while he worked on Ted Kennedy’s presidential campaign for impersonating a phyisician in an attempt to buy prescription drugs.
In August 2018, Lawford was the keynote speaker at a conference on addiction in Malibu, California. The article on his appearance reads, “Mr. Lawford will discuss his many attempts at recovery and his ultimate sobriety and provide advice on how to help loved ones suffering from addiction.”
On his official website, Lawford says that he works with the United Nations, the Canadian Center on Substance Abuse, the White House Office on Drug Control Policy and the World Health Organization.
People later reported in 2014 that Lawford had married yoga instructor Mercedes Miller in Hawaii. The theme for the couple’s wedding was “from the food to the flowers.” Lawford told the magazine at the time, “God must love me a lot because I was able to find this amazing woman on a rock in the Pacific.”
According to his Facebook page, Lawford was in a relationship with a woman named Kyla Resch since August 2017. Lawford give his location as Paia in Hawaii.
Lawford also says on that page that he is a graduate of Harvard Medical School, Boston College and Tufts University. The last post on Lawford’s page came two days before his death:
Lawford’s three children stem from hist first marriage to Jeannie Olsson. People reported in 1991 that Lawford met Olsson while she worked as an ad-sales assistant for New York Magazine. Olsson told the magazine that she had been unable to help Lawford with his addiction because she “had the same issues.” She added that she got clean along with her then-husband in 1985.