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:

4 PHOTOS
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
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.
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.
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.
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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:

25 PHOTOS
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)
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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:

17 PHOTOS
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)
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)
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)
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)
9th November 1960: Senator John F Kennedy, the Democratic candidate who has been elected president of the USA. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)
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Watch: Historic Rhode Island Mansion Used by Jackie Kennedy is Destroyed By Massive Fire

Mansion That Jackie Kennedy Visited Before JFK Wedding Is Destroyed in Fire


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