'My family is extremely close. And contrary to any general opinion on the matter, if there is one, my mother has never had an agenda for me or my sister. That's probably why we're all so close and have had a relatively normal life. Not being a Kennedy, she could recognize both the perils and the positive aspects. One thing she has done is kept the memory and the character of our father very vivid for us.'
--Vogue magazine, June 1993
'It's obviously something people ask me occasionally, and having grown up with it, I have to admit it [a political career] is something I consider a lot. I frankly feel there are many opportunities and avenues outside of elective office to become involved in issues, issues that have the same broad scope that government or elected office provides you. Once you run for office, you're in it. Sort of like going into the military--you'd better be damn sure that it is what you want to do and that the rest of your life is set up to accommodate that. It takes a certain toll on your personality, and on your family life. I've seen it personally.'
'It's hard for me to talk about a legacy or a mystique. It's my family. It's my mother. It's my sister. It's my father. We're a family like any other. We look out for one another. The fact that there have been difficulties and hardships, or obstacles, makes us closer.'
'It was important to me to go outside the [political] arena for a number of reasons. I think everyone needs to feel that they've created something that was their own, on their own terms.'
--on founding George magazine; USA Today, 1998
'I'd like to see [the Profile in Courage Award] become what the Oscars are to the film industry or the Nobel Prize to peace and economics--the single award that recognizes achievement and acts of courage in public life.'
--on the award founded by him and his sister, Caroline; Vogue, 1993
'He has carried his legend with enormous grace and a commitment to live up to his father's legacy and his mother's love. . . . One cannot help but reflect that the Kennedy family has given more to our country than any family should have to do. But our country is so much better because of the gifts that they have given.'
--Vice President Al Gore
'Nothing about our faith makes us pain-proof. It does hurt. It does make us cry. And we must dry our eyes and continue our work until our time is finished.'
--The Rev. Jesse Jackson
'On this particular day, our hearts go out to the family who has started so much, achieved so much, suffered and sacrificed so much and now has even further uncertainty.'
--Astronaut Edwin G. 'Buzz' Aldrin Jr.
'There's a certain amount of disbelief. It brings back memories of the many tragedies of the Kennedy family. They've represented dreams, hopes for our whole country.'
--Rep. Nick Lampson (D-Texas)