A granddaughter of former Sen. Robert F. Kennedy died Thursday at the Kennedy compound in Hyannisport, Massachusetts.
Emergency responders had been called to the compound Thursday afternoon. Hill was transported to Cape Cod Hospital where she was later pronounced dead.
“Our hearts are shattered by the loss of our beloved Saoirse,” the Kennedy family said in a statement.
“Her life was filled with hope, promise and love. She cared deeply about friends and family, especially her mother Courtney, her father Paul, her stepmother Stephanie, and her grandmother Ethel,” the statement said.
“She lit up our lives with her love, her peals of laughter and her generous spirit. Saoirse was passionately moved by the causes of human rights and women’s empowerment and found great joy in volunteer work, working alongside indigenous communities to build schools in Mexico. We will love her and miss her forever,” the statement said.
Ethel Kennedy, 91, Robert F. Kennedy’s widow, was quoted in the statement as saying, “The world is a little less beautiful today.”
Hill was a student at Boston College and was expected the graduate in 2020, The Boston Globe reported.
Saoirse Kennedy Hill Penned Essay About Her Battle with Depression 3 Years Before Her Tragic Death https://t.co/hiP6RUMNN4
— People (@people) August 2, 2019
In 2016, while attending Deerfield Academy, a private school in Massachusetts, Hill wrote about depression in the student newspaper.
“My depression took root in the beginning of my middle school years and will be with me for the rest of my life. Although I was mostly a happy child, I suffered bouts of deep sadness that felt like a heavy boulder on my chest. These bouts would come and go, but they did not outwardly affect me until I was a new sophomore at Deerfield,” she wrote, later adding that after depression grew worse, “I did the worst thing a victim can do, and I pretended it hadn’t happened.
“This all became too much, and I attempted to take my own life.”
The official police statement did not explain how Hill died.
“Early this afternoon, Barnstable police responded to a residence on Marchant Avenue in Hyannis Port for a report of an unattended death,” said Tara Miltimore of the Cape and Islands District Attorney’s Office. “The matter remains under investigation by the Barnstable police as well as state police detectives assigned to the Cape and Islands District Attorney’s Office.”
Hill’s death continues the tragedy shadowing the Kennedy clan. Her grandfather was assassinated in June 1968 while seeking the Democratic nomination for president. Robert’s brother, former President John F. Kennedy, had previously been assassinated in November 1963.
In 1984, David Kennedy, one of Robert F. Kennedy’s children, died of a drug overdose. Michael Kennedy, another son of the former New York senator, died in a skiing accident in 1997.
John F. Kennedy Jr., died in 1999 when his private plane crashed near Martha’s Vineyard.
The Times reported that when Hill was 16, she posted an online message to Michael Kennedy that read, “You were a kind, gentle spirit that went through unimaginable struggles in your life. It saddens me to know that we will never meet in this world, but I know I will see you up in heaven with my grandfather, Uncle Michael, and other family members.”
The tragedy comes one month after the 50th anniversary of former Sen. Ted Kennedy’s accident in Chappaquiddick, Massachusetts, that claimed the life of Mary Jo Kopechne, a passenger in Kennedy’s car.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.