- Stephen Edward Smith
name = Stephen Edward Smith
Brooklyn, New York
Jean Ann Kennedy
Stephen Edward Smith (September 24, 1927-August 19, 1990) was the husband of
Jean Ann Kennedy. They were married May 19, 1956, at which point he became the brother-in-law of future President John F. Kennedy. Smith managed the family's fortune out of a New York CIty Office building. Smith was responsible for overeseeing the trusts that benefited him and his family as well as the other children and grandchildren of Joe and Rose Kennedy.
Smith played an active role in J.F.K.'s 1960 campaign, and was working as Kennedy's campaign manager for re-election at the time of President Kennedy's assassination on November 22, 1963. Smith served as
Robert Kennedy's campaign manager during his abbreviated 1968 presidential run. In the fall of 1979, as polls showed that Senator Edward Kennedy could easily defeat President Carter in Democratic primaries, Kennedy announced his candidacy and made Smith his campaign manager. Many of Kennedy's younger campaign workers considered Smith to be a has-been who did not understand modern campaign advertising, strategy, or fundraising. Kennedy lost to Carter and chose to not run again.
Smith was known as a tough, aggressive and sometimes abrasive operator in both the financial and political worlds. The many creditors who were owed money by the three Kennedy campaigns were often offered twenty cents on the dollar with the rate soon to decline if they didn't settle. In particular, the RFK campaign of 1968 ended with a $5 million debt ($30,000,000 in 2007 dollars). The Kennedy family agreed to help pay the debts, which took years to settle.
A longtime smoker, Smith died in 1990 after a brief battle with
lung cancerat the age of 62.
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