As I said I do not know him as do so many other people but he was loved by the majority of Americans. They grieved at his untimely death. Another shining light in the lives of the Americans has been extinguished.

John Kennedy Jr., had good looks, glamour, wealth, a famous name, good education, a beautiful wife and a beautiful life.

He could have coasted through life just being a playboy like a lot of spoiled princes and billionaires' kids but he decided to work as a writer like his dad and mum before him.

He was a working famous man. Though a celebrity on the same level as Diana Princess of Wales and the legendary Muhammad Ali, he did not go round New York with a troop of bodyguards.

One could occasionally see him either with Carolyn or alone rollerblading, biking or strolling in the Central Park or in other parts of the city

Martha's Vineyard, near where JFK Jr.'s plane crashed, is a popular holiday resort off the coast of Massachusetts. It is a beautiful place, where Mrs Kennedy-Onassis had a holiday house.

I visited it two years ago, and it reminded me and made me feel as if I was in Penang in the forties - beautiful, well-preserved, unspoiled and friendly

In our shock, we scribes are not just talking about a great heir to a mystique legacy but of a good journalist who himself was an icon of grace and style. We mourn his loss because he was one of us.

Caroline, now the sole heiress of Camelot was like her mum, a photojournalist but stopped working because she became more of a celebrity than the subjects she was covering. She is now a author and has written two books.

The Kennedy Dynasty has given tremendously and suffered enormously from the tragedies that had dogged the family - criminal convictions, scandals, assassinations, accidents, sickness and deaths. But there are 87 surviving members of the dynasty which began with Joseph Kennedy, a one time bootlegger who made a fortune and became US ambassador in London and Rose Kennedy a daughter of a Boston mayor, who are living what appears to be normal lives.

It does seem that amongst the clan there are and should be enough bright stars left to enable the spirit of Camelot to live on.

For generations of Americans JFK Jr., or John-John to the general public (though not to his family) will always be that little boy, three years old, in a blue coat and shorts saluting his dad's casket in 1963.

That picture crystallised the American national grief. Before he died last week aged 38, the boy grew to be a sex symbol, a popular icon and an editor.

"The most watched talked about, lusted after (married) man in America" said Sharon Krum of Harpers and Queen two years ago in the July 18 issue of Sunday Times.

As I write this obituary (Tuesday, July 20) I have at my side a copy of his dad's ungiven speech in Dallas.

He was assassinated on the way to give that speech. As always his words were eloquent and often electrifying.

His son did sound a bit like him, just as eloquent. Kennedy's presidency lasted a little 'more than a thousand days, but in that time he did manage to address the most important issues of the day

His son's editorship of George will have been two years this September. Before his essential beliefs, political philosophy and moral outlook could emerge fully and clearly he left us too
suddenly

Henry Kissinger, who sometimes subscribed to the anti-Kennedy sentiments in America, said: "it is the longest running Greek tragedy that anyone knows. It goes back for years".

Whatever, Kennedy's death touches every one's heart. The Americans have lost the shining star of the Kennedys, a young man with great potential accomplishment, because of personal tragedy and untimely death which often afflict this great and tragic family.

(Tan Sri Abdullah Ahmad is our envoy to the United Nations)

(This article has been reproduced with the kind permission of Sun )

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