Historical records matching Patrick Kennedy, U.S. Representative
About Patrick Joseph Kennedy, II
Patrick Joseph Kennedy II is the former U.S. Representative for Rhode Island's 1st congressional district, serving from 1995 until 2011. He is a member of the Democratic Party. The district includes all of Bristol County and Newport County, and parts of Providence County. Kennedy did not seek re-election in 2010.
A member of the Kennedy family, he is a son of the late U.S. Senator Edward M. Kennedy from Massachusetts. At the time of his father's death, he was the last remaining member of the Kennedy family to serve in an elective office in Washington.
Kennedy was born in 1967 to Virginia Joan Kennedy (née Bennett) and Edward Moore Kennedy, Sr. (known as "Ted") in Brighton, Massachusetts, the third of three children, after Kara Anne Kennedy (born 1960-died 2011) and Edward Moore Kennedy, Jr. (born 1961). Patrick was named after his paternal great-grandfather, Patrick Joseph Kennedy, known as "P.J.," a Massachusetts State Senator during the late 1800s.
He graduated from Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts in 1986, and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from Providence College in Providence, Rhode Island in 1991.
Kennedy became the youngest member of the Kennedy family to hold elected office when, in 1988, he won election to the Rhode Island House of Representatives at age 21. He served two terms in the House serving District 9 in Providence, Rhode Island, choosing not to run for a third term. He was succeeded by Anastasia P. Williams.
He resides in Portsmouth, Rhode Island. A long-time bachelor, Kennedy announced his engagement to sixth-grade history teacher Amy Petitgout in March 2011. She has a 3-year-old daughter from a previous marriage. They married on July 15, 2011 in Hyannisport, Massachusetts.
His father, Massachusetts Senator Edward M. Kennedy, died on August 25, 2009. Patrick Kennedy made a tearful eulogy at the funeral, saying that "He [Edward Kennedy] would be very proud to see you all out here today paying a final respect and tribute to his memory". He further elaborated on his experiences with his father as a child, saying his father would stay at his bedside during his frequent bouts of ill health.
Kennedy suffers from bipolar disorder, and has struggled with alcoholism, asthma, and depression for a good portion of his life.
When Kennedy decided not to run for reelection in 2010, he cited his decision on the fact that his life "has taken a new direction". Mark Weiner, a major Democratic fundraiser in Rhode Island and one of Kennedy's top financial backers, said "It's tough to get up and go to work every day when your partner is not there, I think he just had a broken heart after his father passed away."