Maria Shriver is mourning the loss of her aunt Jean Kennedy Smith.
The TODAY contributor appeared on the 3rd hour of TODAY on Thursday and had some warm words for Smith, who passed away Wednesday night at the age of 92.
“She was an extraordinary woman, had a great career on behalf of this country as ambassador to Ireland promoting peace there and also started very special arts for people with intellectual disabilities,” Shriver said. “So I take solace in the fact that she is joining every other member of her family up in heaven. So it’s nice for her.”
Shriver’s mother was Eunice Kennedy Shriver, whose siblings included President John F. Kennedy. She passed away in 2009.
Smith was the daughter of Rose and Joseph Kennedy and the last of their nine children to pass away. Aside from the former president, her siblings also included Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, who was killed in 1968, Sen. Ted Kennedy, who died in 2009, Kathleen Kennedy, who died in a plane crash at the age of 28 in 1948, and Joseph Kennedy Jr., who died at age 31 while serving in the Navy during World War II.
Even though she was a member of one of America’s most famous families, Smith, who would serve as the U.S. ambassador to Ireland, said she had no idea her siblings would go on to achieve so much while they were growing up.
“It is hard for me to fully comprehend that I was growing up with brothers who eventually occupy the highest offices of our nation, including president of the United States,” she wrote in her 2016 memoir, “The Nine of Us.” “At the time, they were simply my playmates. They were the source of my amusement and the objects of my admiration.”