Monday, July 19, 1999 Published at 09:48 GMT 10:48 UK
JFK Junior: Born into fame and tragedy
JFK Junior: Never directly involved in politics
The loss of John F Kennedy Junior is the latest in a long history of tragedies which has become known as the curse of the Kennedys.
Unlike many of the Kennedy clan, he was not involved directly in politics.
Instead he became a national figure in the United States because of his name, a role he did not always feel comfortable with.
"The answers to the most frequently asked personal questions are as follows: Yes, no, we're merely good friends, none of your business, honest she's my cousin from Rhode Island, I've worn both, maybe someday but not New Jersey," he once said.
John F Kennedy Junior spent much of his life in public service, working for underprivileged youth, the homeless and the disabled. For the last few years he worked in the media.
A handsome law-school graduate, although he struggled to pass his exams, he was best known for launching George, a glossy US political magazine.
The law did not hold much appeal for him and in 1995 he launched the magazine which was subtitled "not just politics as usual".
His mother, who died five years ago, was an important influence and it was she who vowed to give him a normal family life.
As a bachelor he was once voted the sexiest man alive. He married in 1996 to his long-term sweetheart Carolyn Bessette - a PR advisor for Calvin Klein.
According to Aviation Week, JFK Junior earned his private pilot's licence at Flight Safety International, a respected US flight school, in Florida.