June 18, 2020
Jun 18

Statement from President Clinton on the Passing of Jean Kennedy Smith

New York, NY

For Immediate Release: June 18, 2020

Contact: [email protected]

Statement from President Clinton on the Passing of Jean Kennedy Smith

Hillary and I are deeply saddened by the passing of Jean Kennedy Smith, a tireless champion of peace, inclusion, and dignity. The five years she spent as America’s Ambassador to Ireland were among the most pivotal and productive in both the long friendship between our two countries and the Northern Ireland peace process. When she arrived in Dublin in 1993, she was immediately embraced not only because of Ireland’s love of her family, but because of her clear passion for peace and willingness to push for it. She supported the visa I granted to Gerry Adams at a time when that was controversial in both Congress and the State Department, and we should all be grateful for the momentum it gave to the peace process and the events leading to the Good Friday Agreement.

In addition to her fine service as Ambassador, she served in many other ways, including founding Very Special Arts to empower people with disabilities to participate more fully in American life.

Hillary and I will always be grateful for her friendship and kindness through the years. We send our thoughts and prayers to her family and all the people whose lives she touched, and give thanks for her good, long life.