Who was Kathleen 'Kick' Kennedy? The untold story of JFK's high-spirited little sister

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The Mystery Why Kathleen 'Kick' Kennedy Was Disowned By Her Family Is Now Revealed

Who was Kick Kennedy?

The untold story of JFK's rebellious younger sister often described for her high spirits rather than for her beauty or intellect is now coming to light in a newly released biography.

Read: Rosemary Kennedy's Dad Ordered Her Lobotomy to Prevent Pregnancy

KICK KENNEDY: The Charmed Life and Tragic Death of the Favorite Kennedy Daughter details the life of a young woman who was well aware of her family's royalty but chose to shy away from the name and ultimately passed away aged just 28.

Kick was born in 1920, nearly three years after future President John F. Kennedy, and was his closest sibling.

As a teenager in 1938, she traveled to England during their father Joseph P. Kennedy Sr.'s appointment as U.S. Ambassador to the United Kingdom.

See more of Kathleen Kennedy's tragic life:

Kathleen 'Kick' Kennedy and her tragic death
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Who was Kathleen 'Kick' Kennedy? The untold story of JFK's high-spirited little sister
Seven of the nine children of Ambassador and Mrs. Joseph Kennedy are shown (above) as they prepared to leave London, March 8, 1939 for Rome to witness papal coronation ceremonies, where their father was official U.S. representative. Left right they are: Robert, Patricia, Jean, Kathleen, Rosemary, Teddy, and Eunice. Unable to attend the ceremonies were Joseph Kennedy, Jr., who was in Madrid and John F. Kennedy, now an embassy clerk. (AP Photo)
Members of the Kennedy family attend an Oxford-Cambridge track meet in London, 1939. Front centre, Kathleen Kennedy, and John F. Kennedy, right. Middle, centre, Joseph P. Kennedy Sr., Edward M. Kennedy, and Robert F. Kennedy.
While Mr. Joseph Kennedy, the American ambassador to London, remains at his post, Mrs. Kennedy, with some members of her family, have arrived safely in America, after a trip across the Atlantic in the liner "Washington". Here they are on board the Washington after their arrival in New York, United States on Sept. 24, 1939. From left to right are: Kathleen, Bobby, Eunice, and Mrs. Kennedy. (AP Photo)
After visiting America to make arrangements for the tour of the King and Queen, and to visit her parents in Boston, Mrs. Rose Kennedy, the wife of the American Ambassador to London, returned to London on June 21, 1939, traveling in the S.S. Washington. Associated Press photo shows Mrs. Kennedy snapped on her arrival back at Paddington June 20. With Mrs. Kennedy are her two daughters, Kathleen, second from right, and Eunice, right, who with Amb. Joseph P. Kennedy, also in the picture, came to meet her. (AP Photo)
New York City-Ambassador Joseph P. Kennedy on Oct. 27, 1940 after he arrived shown with members of his family who met him left to right: Jean, 12; Mrs. Kennedy; Kennedy; Kathleen, 20; Patricia 16 and Eunice, 19. (AP Photo)
Kathleen Marchioness of Hartington, 29-year-0ld daughter of Mr Kennedy, former American Advisor to London, who was one of the four who were killed in a Skyways charter aircraft flight to Cannes which crashed at Lyons, France. *Lady Hartington was the wife of the Marquis of Hartington who was killed a few months after their marriage in 1944.
FILE-- Kathleen Kennedy and William John Robert Cavendish, the Marquess of Hartington are shown on their wedding day, May 6, 1944. Kennedy's brother, Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. is at right. Cavendish and Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. were killed in World War II. Kathleen Kennedy died in a plane crash in 1948. She was 28. The Kennedy family, dogged for more than half a century by tragedy and controversy, has lost another member. Michael Kennedy, the 39-year-old son of the late Sen. Robert F. Kennedy was killed Dec. 31, 1997, in a New Year's Eve skiing accident on Aspen Mountain. (AP Photo/file)
Kathleen Kennedy, known as "Kick", was married William Cavendish, Marquess of Hartington. Lady Hartington, 28, widow of the Marquess of Hartington, and daughter of Joseph P. Kennedy, former US Ambassador to Great Britain, was reported killed in a plane crash on May 13, 1948 near Saint Bauzille in the Rhone River Valley of France, at Ardeche, north of Marseille. (AP Photo)
Joseph P. Kennedy, former ambassador to the Court of St. James, greets his daughter, Lady Kathleen Kennedy Hartington, after her arrival in New York on Nov. 9, 1945, aboard the Queen Mary. She served with the American Red Cross in England. (AP Photo/Anthony Camerano)
The eighth Earl of Fitzwilliam, one of the four victims of the plane crash in the French Ardennes that also killed Kathleen Lady Hartington, daughter of the former US Ambassador to Britain, Mr Joseph Kennedy. Earl Fitzwilliam, who was 38, lived at the family home Wentworth Woodhouse, Yorkshire.

Barbara Leaming, author of the newly released biography, writes that Kick was "willing to laugh at herself – her mistakes, her gaucheries, and even her physical flaws – in a way that was simply unknown among English girls," People reports.

Still, she was warmly embraced into the world of British aristocracy for her "American-ness" especially by Billy Cavendish, the heir of the Duke of Devonshire.

After returning to the U.S., despite the war and her family's objection, Kick found a way to return to London and she and Billy Cavendish soon married. He was Protestant, which was inconsistent with her family's strict Catholic background.

Read: Did Marilyn Monroe Confront Jackie Kennedy About Alleged Affair?

But just four months into their marriage, Kick was widowed. Cavendish, the quiet and reserved counterpart to her outgoing personality, had rejoined the war effort and was killed by a sniper during battle in Belgium.

Also learn more about the Kennedy family:

Joseph P. Kennedy and Kenned family
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Who was Kathleen 'Kick' Kennedy? The untold story of JFK's high-spirited little sister
JOSEPH P KENNEDY (1888-1969) US businessman, father of JFK, here in 1939 as US Ambassador to the UK.
Antique October 7, 1914 photograph, Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr. and bride Rose Elizabeth Fitzgerald Kennedy leaving the private chapel of the Archbishop of Boston, in Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
Joseph P. Kennedy Jr., USN
American businessman + political figure Joseph P. Kennedy Sr (1888 - 1969) - father of US President John F. Kennedy (JFK).
Seated at right, American socialite and philanthrophist Rose Kennedy (1890 - 1995) poses with her children, from left, Joseph P Kennedy Jr (1915 - 1944), John F Kennedy (1917 - 1963), Kathleen Kennedy (1920 - 1948), Rosemary Kennedy (1918 - 2005), and Eunice Kennedy, Brookline, Massachussetts, 1921. (Photo by Bachrach/Getty Images)
(GERMANY OUT) 29.05.1917 - 22.11.1963, Politiker; USA, Familienfoto; sitzend v.l.n.r.: Mrs., Sargent-Shriver, die Eltern Joseph P. und, Rose, Ehefrau Jacqueline und Bruder, Edward; stehend v.l.n.r.: Ethel, Stephen, Smith und Frau, John F., Frau Lawford,, Mr. Sargent-Shriver, Joan, Peter Lawford, - 09.11.1960 (Photo by ullstein bild via Getty Images)
Ambassador in London Joseph P. Kennedy. Grossbritannien. Photograph. 1938. (Photo by Imagno/Getty Images) Botschafter in London: Joseph P. Kennedy. Grossbritannien. Photographie. 1938.
Portrait of the Kennedy family in their living room, Brookline, Massachussetts, 1930s. Front row from left: Joseph P Kennedy Jr (1915 - 1944), Rose Kennedy (1890 - 1995), Robert Kennedy (1925 - 1968), Edward Kennedy, Joseph P Kennedy Sr (1888 - 1969), Patricia Kennedy (1926 - 2006), Jean Kennedy; back row from left: Eunice Kennedy, John F Kennedy (1917 - 1963), Kathleen Kennedy (1920 - 1948), and Rosemary Kennedy (1918 - 2005). (Photo by Bachrach/Getty Images)
Portrait of American businessman Joseph P Kennedy Sr (1888 - 1969) (seated, center) as he poses with his sons around him, clockwise from left, Edward Kennedy, John F Kennedy (1917 - 1963), Joseph P Kennedy Jr (1915 - 1944), and Robert Kennedy, Hyannis, Massachussetts, 1930s. (Photo by Bachrach/Getty Images)
UNITED KINGDOM - SEPTEMBER 12: Portrait of Joseph Patrick KENNEDY and his wife Rose Fitzgerald KENNEDY September 1937. Joseph P. KENNEDY was the newly appointed United States ambassador to Great Britain. (Photo by Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images)
A portrait of the Kennedy family in their living room, Bronxville, New York, 1938. From left are: Joseph P Kennedy Sr (1888 - 1969), Patricia Kennedy (1926 - 2006), John F Kennedy (1917 - 1963), Jean Kennedy, Eunice Kennedy, Robert Kennedy (1925 - 1968), Kathleen Kennedy (1920 - 1948), Edward Kennedy, Rosemary Kennedy (1918 - 2005), Joseph P. Kennedy Jr (1915 - 1944), and Rose Kennedy (1890 - 1995). (Photo by Bachrach/Getty Images)
Joseph P Kennedy, Chairman of the US Maritime Commission, as he recently appeared before a Congressional committee, Washington DC, December 3, 1937. (Photo by Harris & Ewing/Underwood Archives/Getty Images)
Patricia Kennedy (1924 - 2006, left), later Patricia Kennedy Lawford, and Kathleen Kennedy (1920 - 1948), later Kathleen Cavendish, Marchioness of Hartington, riding in Rotten Row, Hyde Park, London, 1938. They are the daughters of US ambassador Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr. and Rose Kennedy. (Photo by Horace Abrahams/Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
A portrait of the Kennedy family as they sit in the shade of some trees, Hyannis, Massachussetts, 1930s. Seated from left, Robert Kennedy (1925 - 1968), Edward Kennedy, Joseph P Kennedy Sr (1888 - 1969), Eunice Kennedy, Rosemary Kennedy (1918 - 2005), and Kathleen Kennedy (1920 - 1948); standing from left, Joseph P Kennedy Jr (1915 - 1944), John F Kennedy (1917 - 1963), Rose Kennedy (1890 - 1995), Jean Kennedy, and Patricia Kennedy (1926 - 2006). (Photo by Bachrach/Getty Images)
Joseph P Kennedy, who was sworn in today as American Ambassador to Great Britain, with his new aide, Harold Hinton, the former Washington Correspondent for the New York Times, Washington DC, February 18, 1938. (Photo by Harris & Ewing/Underwood Archives/Getty Images)
16th March 1938: Full-length image of Joseph P Kennedy (1888 - 1969, third from left) with (left to right) his daughter Kathleen, sons Teddy and Robert, wife Rose, and daughters Patricia (1924 - 2006) and Jean, London, England. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
19th March 1938: Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy, wife ofJoseph P Kennedy US Ambassador in Britain, and mother of John F Kennedy, with her daughter Kathleen Kennedy. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)
UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 05: May 5,1939. Joseph P. KENNEDY, United States Ambassador to England, holds a reception for the British king and queen. From left to right: Mrs. Rose Fitzgerald KENNEDY; the king of England George VI, his wife Queen Elizabeth, and Joseph Patrick KENNEDY. (Photo by Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images)
22nd March 1939: American ambassador to Great Britain, Joseph P Kennedy (1888 - 1969) and his wife, Rose Kennedy (1890 - 1995), arrive at Covent Garden Opera House, London. Rose wears a satin gown and a jeweled tiara. Joseph wears a white tie and tails. (Photo by New York Times Co./Getty Images)
7th March 1940: The American Ambassador in Britain, Joseph P Kennedy, greeting the press gathered at the airport as he returns from a trip to the US. (Photo by J. A. Hampton/Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)
Kathleen Kennedy (1920 - 1948), later Kathleen Cavendish, Marchioness of Hartington, whilst working for the American Red Cross in London, 1943. She is the daughter of US ambassador Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr. and Rose Kennedy. (Photo by Horace Abrahams/Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Kathleen Kennedy (1920 - 1948), later Kathleen Cavendish, Marchioness of Hartington, whilst working for the American Red Cross in London, 1943. She is the daughter of US ambassador Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr. and Rose Kennedy. (Photo by Horace Abrahams/Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Francis Joseph Cardinal Spellman officiates as Eunice Mary Kennedy, daughter of ex-Ambassador to England and Mrs. Joseph P. Kennedy and Robert Sargent Shriver Jr. kneel before main altar of St. Patrick's Cathedral during couple's wedding. It was first time since his elevation that Cardinal had married anyone.(Photo By: Fred Morgan/NY Daily News via Getty Images)
BOSTON - NOVEMBER 21: Cardinal Cushing, Monsignor Maguire, Rose F. Kennedy and Edward M. Kennedy at the funeral for Joseph P. Kennedy at the Holyhood Cemetery on November 20, 1969. (Photo by Philip Preston/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

Her brother, Joe Jr., was also killed in the war just a month before.

She later rediscovered love in the arms of Earl Peter Wentworth Fitzwilliam, a married Protestant man, who was known for his drinking and gambling habits.

The ill-fated lovers were en route to the French Riviera when their plane wound up in a storm and crashed in 1948. Kick Kennedy was just 28 when she passed away, another victim of the so-called 'Kennedy Curse.'

In her 28 short years, she found herself estranged from her family. Her mother, furious about her affair with her married lover, refused to bring her body back to America, and left her in the care of her British mother-in-law.

Read: Patrick Kennedy Breaks Family's Silence, Opens Up About Their Struggles with Addiction

Her father identified the body, and was the only member of the Kennedy family to visit her British grave.

Leaming told to People magazine that Joe Kennedy, devastated by his favorite daughter's death, "was this man in this crumbled navy blue suit, and he was as crumbled as the suit was."

Related: Learn more about JFK's life:

John F Kennedy (life)
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Who was Kathleen 'Kick' Kennedy? The untold story of JFK's high-spirited little sister
1927: Headshot portrait of John F Kennedy (1917-1963) at age ten, standing outdoors and wearing a suit with his hair slicked back. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Future President of the United States of America, John F Kennedy (1917 - 1963) in London. (Photo by Evening Standard/Getty Images)
American statesman John F Kennedy, later the 35th President of the United States (right), with Mr Borhum at a garden party at the White House, Washington DC. (Photo by Fox Photos/Getty Images)
1st September 1939: Joe, Kathleen and John F Kennedy, the children of American Ambassador to Great Britain, Joseph P Kennedy, arriving at the Houses of Parliament in London. John later became the 35th President of the United States. (Photo by Fox Photos/Getty Images)
A photo dated 1950's shows John F. Kennedy with his wife Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy. (Photo credit should read AFP/AFP/Getty Images)
John Fitzgerald Kennedy (1917 - 1963), the American president sitting in a rocking chair. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)
Senator John F Kennedy seeking the Democratic nomination for the presidential elections, which he went on to win. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)
President John F. Kennedy speaks on the telephone August 23, 1962 in the Oval Office. (Photo by National Archive/Newsmakers)
Senator John F Kennedy (1917 - 1963) is given a rousing ovation during his presidential campaign. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)
U.S. Senator John F. Kennedy, D-Mass., and his bride, the former Jacqueline Lee Bouvier, cut their wedding cake during a reception following thier marriage Sept.12, 1953 at Newport, R.I. (AP Photo)
John F Kennedy (1917 - 1963), American president-elect, with his wife Jacqueline (1929 - 1994) at the christening of their son John F Jr. (1960 - 1999) in Washington. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)
President John F. Kennedy speaks to the AFL-CIO convention on Dec. 7, 1961 in Bal Harbour, Florida, where he said employment hit a new record in the month of November, Kennedy addressed the labor convention after making a talk at the Young Democrats convention at Miami Beach, Florida. (AP Photo)
U.S. President John F. Kennedy (1917 - 1963) holds his first press conference, Washington D.C., 28th January 1961. (Photo by Central Press/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
FILE - In this Aug. 7, 1960 file photo, Democratic presidential nominee Sen. John Kennedy and wife Jacqueline sit in their sailboat at Hyannis Port, Mass. The Kennedy image, the "mystique" that attracts tourists and historians alike, did not begin with his presidency and is in no danger of ending 50 years after his death. Its journey has been uneven, but resilient _ a young and still-evolving politician whose name was sanctified by his assassination, upended by discoveries of womanizing, hidden health problems and political intrigue, and forgiven in numerous polls that place JFK among the most beloved of former presidents.(AP Photo)
17th February 1961: Jacqueline Kennedy (1929 - 1994), wife of US President John F Kennedy, and daughter Caroline relax together at home. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)
1962: US statesman John F Kennedy, 35th president of the USA, making a speech. (Photo by Central Press/Getty Images)
US President John F Kennedy (1917 - 1963, left) with British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan (1894 - 1986) outside Government House in Hamilton, Bermuda, where they are holding talks, 22nd December 1961. (Photo by AFP/Getty Images)
President John F. Kennedy greets wellwishers after a speech May 8, 1963 at the White House. (Photo by National Archive/Newsmakers)
Little Caroline kisses her father John F. Kennedy, who is elected on November 9, 1960. Kennedy is not only the first Catholic in the White House, but also the youngest president in US history. (AP Photo) 1960
President John F. Kennedy smiles as he watches the annual Army-Navy game at Philadelphia Stadium, Dec. 2, 1961. He sat first on the Army side and then crossed over to the Navy side for the second half of the game, which Navy won, 13-7. (AP Photo)
Sen. John F. Kennedy, Democratic presidential candidate, and his wife, Jacqueline, pause to talk to crowd as they pass through the Wall Street area en route to City Hall in New York, Oct. 19, 1960. As Kennedy talked the crowd surged toward his car. At Mayor Wagner's suggestion, Sen. Kennedy spoke but briefly and motorcade proceeded up Broadway from City Hall. (AP Photo)
9th November 1960: Senator John F Kennedy, the Democratic candidate who has been elected president of the USA. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)
In this Nov. 13, 1963 file photo, U.S. President John F. Kennedy and first lady Jacqueline Kennedy sit with their children, John Jr. and Caroline, on a portico overlooking the White House South Lawn in Washington. In background is British Ambassador David Ormsby Gore. (AP Photo)
President John F. Kennedy is greeted by an enthusiastic crowd in front of the Hotel Texas in Fort Worth, Nov. 22, 1963. (AP Photo)
This Nov. 22, 1963 file photo shows President John F. Kennedy and his wife Jacqueline Kennedy upon their arrival at Dallas Airport, in Dallas, shortly before President Kennedy was assassinated. PBS says its fall schedule will include a variety of specials marking President John F. Kennedy's death 50 years ago. In the weeks leading up to the milestone anniversary of his Nov. 22, 1963, slaying in Dallas, PBS said it will air "JFK," a four-hour "American Experience" special. (AP Photo, file)
This Nov. 22, 1963 file photo shows President John F. Kennedy riding in motorcade with first lady Jacqueline Kenndy before he was shot in Dallas, Texas. (AP Photo, file)

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