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
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
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
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
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
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
(Tan Sri Abdullah Ahmad is our envoy to the United Nations)
(This article has been reproduced with the kind permission of Sun )