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Maria Shriver remembers aunt Jean Kennedy Smith: 'She was an extraordinary woman'

Shriver spoke glowingly about her late aunt, who passed away at the age of 92.
/ Source: TODAY

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.

Kennedy Family Standing on Lawn
This 1934 photo shows former President John F. Kennedy with his family at their Boston home. From left to right: Edward, Jean, Robert, Patricia, Eunice, Kathleen, Rosemary, John and their parents, Rose Kennedy and Joseph P. Kennedy. Another son, Joseph Kennedy Jr., who was killed in World War II, is not shown in this photo.Bettmann Archive

“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.

Jean Kennedy Smith
Jean Kennedy Smith holds a press conference at the Palazzo delle Civilta Italiana in Rome, Italy, on Jan. 21, 1965.Keystone / Getty Images

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.

Authors Night 2017 to benefit The East Hampton Library
Jean Kennedy Smith attends Author's Night 2017 to benefit the East Hampton Library on Aug. 12, 2017 in East Hampton, New York.Sonia Moskowitz / WireImage

“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.”