Mary Kerry Kennedy was born on September 8, 1959 (age 61 years) in Washington DC. She is of American nationality.
CAREER: ACTIVISM AND LITERATURE
Kennedy has worked as a human rights activist since 1981, leading delegations into places such as El Salvador, Haiti, Kenya, and South Korea. She was also involved in causes in China, Indonesia, Vietnam, India, Sudan, and Pakistan.
Kennedy began serving as the president of the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Human Rights in 1988 and has since been made the honorary president of the said non-profit organization which is based in Europe Florence, Italy. She also serves on the Advisory Board of the Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment at Columbia University.
In 2017, Kennedy received the Medal for Social Activism from the World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates in Bogota, Colombia for “her impactful efforts on communities throughout the world as a result of her life-long devotion to the pursuit of equal justice.”
Kennedy’s life has been devoted to equal justice, to the promotion and protection of basic rights, and to the preservation of the rule of law. In 1981, while working in Amnesty International, she investigated claims about abuses committed by U.S. immigration officials against refugees from the Salvadoran Civil War in El Salvador.
For over thirty years, she has worked on diverse human rights issues such as children’s rights and labor, disappearances, indigenous land rights, judicial independence, freedom of expression, ethnic violence, impunity, and the environment. She has concentrated specifically on women’s rights, particularly honor killings, sexual slavery, domestic violence, workplace discrimination, and sexual assault. She has worked in over 60 countries and led hundreds of human rights delegations.
Lawyers for Ecuadorean plaintiffs in the long-running lawsuit against Chevron Corporation for environmental and human health damages at the Lago Agrio oil field hired Kennedy to conduct public relations for their cause. She traveled to Ecuador in 2009, after which she blasted Chevron in an article for the Huffington Post.
- Robert F. Kennedy: Ripples of Hope: Kerry Kennedy in Conversation with Heads of State, Business Leaders, Influencers, and Activists about Her Father’s Impact on Their Lives (2018)
- Being Catholic Now (2008)
- Speak Truth To Power: A Guide To Defending Human Rights (2016)
- Speak Truth to Power: Human Rights Defenders who are Changing Our World (2000)
FAMILY LIFE: DIVORCE AND CHILDREN
She is the seventh child and third daughter of Robert F. Kennedy and Ethel Skakel. Her father was assassinated in 1968. Three days after her birth, her father resigned as chief counsel of the Senate Rackets Committee to run his brother’s campaign(John F Kennedy) for the presidency.
She is a graduate of The Putney School and Brown University and received her Juris Doctor from Boston College Law School. Kennedy holds honorary doctorates of law from Le Moyne College and University of San Francisco Law School and of Humane Letters from Bay Path College and the Albany College of Pharmacy. She is also a member of the Massachusetts and District of Columbia bar associations.
On June 9, 1990, she married Andrew Cuomo at age 30 in the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle in Washington, DC. They have three daughters: twins, Cara Ethel Kennedy-Cuomo and Mariah Matilda Kennedy-Cuomo (born 1995), and Michaela Andrea Kennedy-Cuomo (born 1997).
Kennedy and Cuomo divorced in 2005.
Kerry is valued at $10 million.