Robert F. Kennedy's granddaughter, Saoirse Kennedy Hill, dies at family compound at 22

Saoirse Kennedy Hill, 22, was the only child of Robert Kennedy's daughter Courtney and Paul Michael Hill. She "lit up our lives with her love, her peals of laughter and her generous spirit," the Kennedy family said.

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/ Source: TODAY
By Scott Stump

A granddaughter of Robert F. Kennedy was found dead at the family's compound in Massachusetts on Thursday.

Saoirse Kennedy Hill, 22, the granddaughter of Ethel Kennedy and former New York senator and U.S. Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, was confirmed dead after authorities were called to the family's longtime summer home in Hyannis Port.

Hill died of an apparent drug overdose, two relatives told The New York Times. NBC News has not confirmed the report.

The Kennedy family wrote in a statement to NBC News that Hill "lit up our lives with her love, her peals of laughter and her generous spirit. We will love her and miss her forever."

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Hill was the only child of Robert Kennedy's daughter, Courtney, and Paul Michael Hill. The Cape Islands district attorney told NBC News that local authorities and state police detectives are investigating her death.

Hill, who was studying communications at Boston College, had previously opened up about her struggles with depression. In a 2016 article in her high school newspaper at Deerfield Academy in Massachusetts, she revealed that she had once attempted suicide.

"Although I was mostly a happy child, I suffered bouts of deep sadness that felt like a heavy boulder on my chest,'' she wrote.

"I totally lost it after someone I knew and loved broke serious sexual boundaries with me. I did the worst thing a victim can do, and I pretended it hadn't happened. This all became too much, and I attempted to take my own life."

Hill's loss marks the latest in years of tragic deaths in the Kennedy family. Her grandfather was assassinated in 1968, nearly five years after his brother, President John F. Kennedy, was slain.

Their brother, Joseph P. Kennedy Jr., died at 29 while serving as a bomber pilot in World War II, while their sister, Kathleen Cavendish, was killed in a plane crash in 1948. In 1969, Edward Kennedy drove off a bridge near Martha's Vineyard and killed Mary Jo Kopechne, 28, the passenger in his car, on Chappaquiddick Island in Massachusetts.

John F. Kennedy's son, John F. Kennedy Jr., died in a 1999 plane crash that also claimed the lives of his wife, Carolyn, and sister-in-law Lauren Bessette.

Hill's uncle, David Anthony Kennedy, died of a drug overdose in 1984 in a hotel in Palm Beach, Florida. In 1997, Michael LeMoyne Kennedy died at 39 in a ski accident.