January 13, 2009

Matthew Maxwell Taylor Kennedy


Matthew Maxwell Taylor Kennedy (born January 11, 1965), also known as Max Kennedy, is an American author. He was born in New York, New York. He is the ninth child of Robert F. Kennedy and Ethel Skakel Kennedy. Maxwell Kennedy was baptized by Monsignor William McCormack in Manhattan's St. Patrick's Cathedral, in front of a crowd of 200 people. He is named after General Maxwell Taylor, who was then in Saigon serving as the American Ambassador to VietNam, and did not attend the baptism.[1] General Taylor was a WWII hero who commanded the 101st Airborne Division, and developed the deterrence policy known as flexible response.[2]

He graduated with honors from Harvard University and majored in American history. He married Victoria Anne Strauss[3] (born February 10, 1964)[4] on July 13, 1991 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Both he and his wife graduated from the University of Virginia School of Law in 1992.

They have three children: Matthew Maxwell Taylor Kennedy, Jr., born September 18, 1993, Caroline Summer Rose Kennedy, born December 29, 1994, and Noah Isabella Rose Kennedy, born July 9, 1998 in Hyannis, Massachusetts.

He completed Danger's Hour: The Story of the USS Bunker Hill and the Kamikaze Pilot Who Crippled Her, which was released by Simon & Schuster on Veteran's Day (November 11, 2008).[5]. The book garnered praise from filmaker Ken Burns.

Mr. Kennedy spoke with WGN Chicago about the role of suicide in asymmetrical warfare and his book Danger’s Hour in the Fall of 2008.[6] Kennedy addressed the 2008 Miami book fair, speaking about the America’s shared purpose during the second World War.[7] Kennedy claimed that with a new leadership “Americans can live, even comfortably, with danger.”[8]

He is also writing, producing, and directing a documentary on the use of suicide as a weapon of war with Harvard documentary filmmaker Randolph Bell. His articles have appeared in DoubleTake Magazine, Conde Nast Traveller, and Escape. He began his law career in July 1992 by serving for three years as an assistant district attorney in Philadelphia.

Mr. Kennedy co-founded the Urban Ecology Institute at Boston College, where he taught in the Biology and English Departments, with the goal of forcing change through community action and education. Since its founding, UEI has developed an array of programs that fall within its Education Division which engage students in hands-on, inquiry-based science learning, especially at the middle school and high school levels.[9] In response to the considerable ecological and economic challenges in the city of Boston, the Urban Ecology Institute studies the emerging field of urban ecology to help residents understand the natural resources in their communities and take action to protect them.[10]

Mr. Kennedy, an avid civil rights and environmental rights advocate spoke at the Loyola Marymount University Bellarmine Forum in 2006 about the importance of urban ecology. Kennedy claimed that the Jesuit colleges should be more involved in their local communities, and that scientists, educators and attorneys must work with middle and high school youth to improve science and civic education, and to protect and transform natural resources before they are lost forever.[11]

Mr. Kennedy is working with the Pearl Coalition to build a museum of remembrance and recognition of the greatest African American Slave escape in American History.

Max Kennedy managed Senator Edward M. Kennedy’s re-election campaign in 2000, and has volunteered on a number of other campaigns, including the presidential campaigns of Edward M. Kennedy in 1980, Al Gore in 2000, John Kerry in 2004 and as a surrogate for Barack Obama in 2008. Maxwell Kennedy endorsed then-Senator Obama early in the primary season. [12]Kennedy campaigned for Senator Obama throughout 2008 at approximately 200 events in crucial swing states, including Ohio, Colorado, New Mexico, Virginia, and Pennsylvania. Kennedy campaigned hard for Senator Obama especially in Scranton where field organizer Gillian Bergeron created a hard-core field organization, and had Kennedy hitting diners and doughnut shops at six AM. Kennedy resorted to old-school politicking, leading senior citizens singing old Irish ballads at lunch centers.[13] Kennedy campaigned in Indiana on Dr. King’s birthday[14] and again during the Jefferson-Jackson dinnerJefferson-Jackson DinnerHe campaigned across Texas from Austin to Dallas and Fort Worth through San Antonio.[15] He phone-banked for Senator Obama[16] and spoke at several Rock the Vote Bus Tour events.[17]Kennedy introduced Senator Obama at a dinner at Hickory Hill.[18] A nice video produced by the Obama campaign shows Max and his mother Mrs. Robert F. Kennedy campaigning in Southwest Virginia. Speaking about Senator Obama on Morning Joe, Max Kennedy spoke about the shared courage, moral authority and willingness to take on tough issues, of Senator Obama, and his father Robert Kennedy.[19]

His wife Vicki was a Cabot Fellow and taught for several years as a Fellow at Harvard College. Vicki is now an educational consultant at Loyola Marymount. She is devoted to being a parent within a political family.[20]

He wrote the national best-selling book called Make Gentle the Life of This World : The Vision of Robert F. Kennedy and the Words That Inspired Him. Mr. Kennedy's father still looms large in his life.[21]

Mr. Kennedy has served as a Director of the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial, where he led human rights missions to Haiti, South Africa, and Kenya.

At Georgetown University, he concentrated on Latin-American history, and has made dozens of trips through Central and Latin America, spending time in nearly every country in South America. He joined a Venezuelan mapping team to attempt to create the first detailed maps of the upper reaches of the Rio Caroni. He co-led in an expedition to locate the sunken French fleet of Admiral D`Estress in Las Aves Archipelago and participated in the subsequent filming of the BBC/Discovery Channel Documentary about the lost fleet. Max Kennedy partially financed and produced two Venezuelan historical long featured films about Manuela Saenz in 2000 (Lover of Simon Bolivar and Coronel of the Venezuelan Independence Army) and Francisco de Miranda in 2005 (Leader of the Venezuelan Independence). His name appears on the credits of both films and other Venezuelan films to which he has contributed. Mr Kennedy has toured the Venezuelan Barrios, and was successfully involved in the fundraising of donations from the U.S. to the homeless children’s shelter run by Fundacion Atenea in Caracas. Mr Kennedy has had extensive meetings with the Leopoldo Lopez, Mayor of Chacao, one of the only elected opposition figures in Caracas, and with Henrique Capriles, Mayor of Baruta and now the opposition candidate for Governor of the State of Miranda. He has been a personal friend for more than 15 years of Maria Corina Machado, the head of SUMATE, a Venezuelan NGO that promotes clean elections and who has been indicted by the Government under several criminal charges for that reason. While studying law at the University of Virginia, Mr. Kennedy was elected President of the Student Legal Forum.

Maxwell Kennedy organized an expedition with Barry Clifford to search for, and successfully located the lost fleet of the Counte D’Estrees, at Las Aves off the coast of Venezuela. The fleet had sunk in 1678 while attempting to sack the Dutch at Curacao.[22]


When Max and Edward Kennedy Jr. were small, grandmother Rose would tell them the story of how their uncle, President John F. Kennedy, saved a member of his PT boat crew in World War II by towing him to an island.[23] Max would in return continue the legacy of his uncle by visiting Solomon Islands with Robert Ballard in 2002 to revisit the scene of the story of John F. Kennedy's PT-109. He presented a bust of the late president to Biuku Gasa and Eroni Kumana who were the native coastwatcher scouts who found the missing Kennedy and his crew.

Source: Wikipedia

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