Patricia Kennedy, JFK's Sister, Dies

09/18/2006 at 09:00 AM EDT

Patricia Kennedy, JFK's Sister, Dies
Patricia Lawford and John F. Kennedy in 1960
Bettmann/CORBIS
Patricia Kennedy Lawford, a sister of the late President John F. Kennedy, died Sunday at her Southampton, N.Y., home from complications from pneumonia, according to a spokesperson for her brother, Massachusetts Sen. Edward M. Kennedy. She was 82.

"My sister Pat is irreplaceable," Sen. Kennedy said in a statement. "Everyone who knew Pat adored her. She was admired for her great style, for her love and support of the arts, her wit and generosity and for the singular sense of wonder and joy she brought into our lives."

One of the princesses of the early-1960s Camelot era in American politics, Lawford, who in 1954 married actor Peter Lawford, was a familiar face in Hollywood – and, through her husband's association with Frank Sinatra and his friends, an adjunct member of the Rat Pack.

In 1966, however, the Lawford marriage broke up and she became the first member of the devoutly Catholic Kennedy clan to divorce. She moved to New York City, where, as an active supporter of the city's arts scene, she founded the National Committee for the Literary Arts and worked with the National Center on Addiction and with the Kennedy Library.

Lawford was the sixth child of nine born to Joseph and Rose Kennedy. She is survived by Sen. Kennedy and sisters Jean Kennedy Smith and Eunice Kennedy Shriver (sister Rosemary Kennedy died in 2005), as well as her son Christopher, daughters Sydney, Robin and Victoria Frances and 10 grandchildren.

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