John F. Kennedy Jr., the only son of a fallen president, died tragically in 1999 in a plane crash alongside his wife, Carolyn Bessette, and Carolyn’s sister, Lauren.
As the heir to part of the Kennedy dynasty, JFK Jr. died a very wealthy man. How rich was JFK Jr., though? (You can see more photos of JFK Jr. and his wife here.)
JFK Jr.’s Net Worth
Kennedy’s net worth at the time he died was estimated at between $30 million to $100 million, according to The Arizona Daily Sun. Although tallies of his wealth vary, he was a multimillionaire when he died.
“Biography: JFK Jr—The Final Year” will run on Tuesday, July 16, 2019 at 9 p.m. ET on A&E Network. “July 16, 2019 marks the 20-year anniversary of John F. Kennedy Jr.’s death. This two-hour documentary special, airing on the anniversary, reframes the last year of his life in an entirely new way,” A&E wrote in a statement.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. JFK Jr. Left His Personal Property to His Sister’s Three Children
JFK Jr. and his wife, Carolyn, died without any children of their own. However, JFK Jr.’s sister, Caroline Schlossberg, does have three children, and they were recognized in their uncle’s will.
According to the Associated Press, JFK Jr. left his personal property to Caroline’s three children: Tatiana, Rose, and John. John Schlossberg, who is the former president’s only grandson, bears a remarkable resemblance to JFK Jr.
The three children also received money from Kennedy’s trust, which was established in 1983, according to AP.
The New York Post reported that the personal property was likely to include Kennedy’s apartment, his share of the Kennedy compound at Martha’s Vineyard, and “Kennedy’s clothing, furniture, and mementoes from his father, including a rocking chair, a ‘PT-109’ tie clip, gold Cartier watch and a silver money clip.”
He gave his nephew John Schlossberg a “scrimshaw set” that once belonged to the former president, The Post reported. His will had initially indicated his belongings would go to his wife and their children, but she died with him and they did not have offspring.
2. Friends & Charities Received Money From Kennedy’s Will
Blood relations weren’t the only people to receive bequests from JFK’s will.
Kennedy’s trust also granted money to people who included “Ephigenia Pinheiro, the personal assistant to his mother, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, and Marta Sgubin, a former Kennedy family cook and governess to him and Caroline,” AP reported. “Another beneficiary is Rosemarie Terenzio, Kennedy’s assistant at George,” which was his magazine.
According to AP, he also gave money to charities, including “Reaching Up Inc., a New York organization for the mentally disabled, and the John Fitzgerald Kennedy Library Foundation Inc. in Boston.”
The Post reports that 14 people received money in Kennedy’s will, including family members and others. Among them: He remembered his “two godchildren, Phineas Howie, 7, and Olivia Howie, 4. Their mother, Alexandra Chermayeff, was an old friend from school,” The Post reported.
3. The Kennedy Family Settled With Carolyn Bessette’s Family in a Wrongful Death Case, Reports Say
The deaths of JFK Jr., his wife, and her sister was not without financial fallout. Bessette’s family includes her mother and surviving sister.
According to UK Telegraph, Bessette’s family received $15 million from the Kennedy family. “The agreement comes after months of legal wrangling. Negotiations between the two families began about 18 months ago, with the Kennedys offering $7 million, while the Bessettes were asking for at least $20 million,” Telegraph reported at the time. However, the family’s attorney in 2001 denied that settlement amount amidst reports that they had asked a judge to allow a settlement in the wrongful death case Ann Freeman brought against the Kennedy estate.
At issue was an NTSB report that essentially blamed pilot error for the crash; JFK Jr. did not have much time flying a plane at night without an instructor and was found to have suffered from spatial disorientation.
4. Caroline Kennedy, JFK Jr.’s Sister, May Be Worth Up to $500 Million
When Caroline Kennedy was chosen to be the U.S. ambassador to Japan, she had to open a window into her private finances.
Page Six reported that the financial documents she revealed indicated her fortune could be as high as $500 million.
A legal expert told Page Six, “From the figures, it looks like she earns between $12 million and $30 million a year from her trust and from her investments.” She also has earned “$1 million annually from speaking engagements and royalties from books,” according to Page Six.
5. JFK Jr. Had Inherited Money From His Mother’s Estate
Some of JFK Jr.’s wealth, of course, came from his mother, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. She preceded him in death, and she left behind an estate that was valued at about $43.7 million, according to her executors, The New York Times reported.
The newspaper reported that Jackie left “valuable properties” to both of her children. An auction of some of Jackie’s belonging brought in millions of dollars.