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Jean Kennedy Smith, last surviving Kennedy sibling, dies at 92

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Jean Kennedy Smith attends the funeral service for brother and Sen. Edward Kennedy in Boston, Mass., on August 29, 2009. Smith died Wednesday at age 92. File Photo by Brian Snyder/UPI
Jean Kennedy Smith attends the funeral service for brother and Sen. Edward Kennedy in Boston, Mass., on August 29, 2009. Smith died Wednesday at age 92. File Photo by Brian Snyder/UPI | License Photo

June 18 (UPI) -- Jean Kennedy Smith, the last surviving sibling of former President John F. Kennedy and a former U.S. ambassador to Ireland, has died at the age of 92.

The family said Smith died on Wednesday at her home in New York City.

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Smith was the second-youngest of nine children of Joseph and Rose Kennedy. All three of her older brothers died unnatural deaths. Joseph Jr. was killed in a bombing mission during World War II, President John Kennedy was assassinated in 1963 and Sen. Robert Kennedy met the same fate during his presidential campaign in 1968.

Her younger brother, Sen. Edward Kennedy, represented Massachusetts in the Senate for nearly a half-century before his death in 2009. Smith's eldest sister, Rosemary Kennedy, died in 2005 and Kathleen Kennedy was killed at the age of 28 in a plane crash in 1948. Sisters Eunice Kennedy Shriver and Patricia Kennedy Lawford died in 2009 and 2006, respectively.

Jean Kennedy, at right, is pictured with siblings (L to R) Eunice, Bobby and Teddy at their home in Palm Beach, Fla., in 1941. UPI Photo/File

Smith married transportation executive Stephen E. Smith in 1956 and had four children. She was called by some the "quiet Kennedy," in comparison to her higher-profile siblings but she later carved out her own niche, however, as an international political figure.

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Appointed U.S. ambassador to Ireland by President Bill Clinton in 1993, Smith was credited with helping to lay groundwork that led to the Good Friday peace agreement five years later, which ended long-running sectarian violence in Northern Ireland.

In 2011, Smith was given the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama for her work with children with intellectual and physical disabilities.

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Smith is survived by four children and seven grandchildren.

"Incredible aunt, amazing woman, and remarkable life," tweeted Massachusetts Rep. Joe Kennedy III, Robert Kennedy's grandson. "I'll miss your trouble-making and your huge heart, Aunt Jean."

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Richard "Dick" Thornburgh, former attorney general of the United States and former governor of Pennsylvania, takes a seat at the witness hearing after U.S. Chief Justice nominee Judge John Roberts testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., on September 15, 2005. Thornburgh died on December 31 at age 88. Photo by Yuri Gripas/UPI | License Photo

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