The oldest child of the late Sen. Ted Kennedy, Kara Kennedy, died at a Washington-area health club. She was 51.
“She’s with dad,” Patrick Kennedy said. Their father died in 2009 at age 77 after battling a brain tumor.
Kara Kennedy had herself battled lung cancer: In 2003, doctors removed a malignant tumor. Patrick Kennedy said that his sister loved to exercise, but that he thinks her cancer treatment “took quite a toll on her and weakened her physically.”
“Her heart gave out,” he said.
Kara Kennedy Allen was a Tufts University graduate. Her lung cancer had been in remission since 2003.
In 2009, she accepted the Medal of Freedom from President Obama on behalf of her father Ted Kennedy, who was at home battling brain cancer.
In an April article Kennedy Allen wrote for The Boston Globe Magazine, Kara Kennedy “recalled the lessons her father taught his children.”
She wrote of family trips in the summer when the late senator would lead his children on explorations of historic battlefields and buildings, trips she said taught her that one person can make a difference.
“What mattered to my father was not the scale of an accomplishment, but that we did our share to make the world better,” she wrote. “That we learned we were part of something larger than ourselves.”
She is survived by her mother, Joan Kennedy, her brothers Edward Jr. and Patrick, her husband Michael Allen and their two children: Max Greathouse Allen, 15, and daughter, Grace Kennedy Allen, 16.