Puneet Varma (Editor)

Kennedy (surname)

Updated on
Share on FacebookTweet on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Reddit
Pronunciation  /ˈkɛnᵻdi/
Region of origin  Ireland and Scotland
Language(s)  Gaelic
Related names  O'Kennedy and Kennedie
Meaning  Derived either from Ó Cinnéide meaning grandson of Cinnédidh, or ceann and éidigh meaning "ugly head."

Kennedy, alternately O'Kennedy and Kennedie, is a surname of Irish and Scottish origin that has also been used as a given name.



There have been several different etymologies given for the surname. One is that the name is an Anglicisation of the Gaelic Ó Ceannéidigh meaning "grandson of Ceannéidigh". Ceannéidigh is a given name derived from the Gaelic words ceann, meaning "head", and éidigh, meaning "ugly". In some etymologies, the element ceann is given as "chief" or "leader". Another possibility is that Kennedy is an Anglicisation of Ó Cinnéide, meaning "grandson of Cinnédidh" or "grandson of Cinnéidigh", with both of these personal names meaning "helmet headed." Ceanéidigh could be related to the old Gaelic name Cennétig, which is known from Cennétig Mac Lorcáin, the father of the Irish high king Brian mac Cennétig, who himself was also known as Brian Bóruma or Brian Boru. There are also an Irish Kennedy family and a Scottish Kennedy clan of Carrick in Ayrshire, which are unrelated to one another.

Members of the Kennedy political family

  • Caroline Kennedy (born 1957), attorney; daughter of John and Jacqueline Kennedy
  • Ted Kennedy (1932–2009), senior US senator from Massachusetts, married twice and father of three
  • Ethel Kennedy (born 1928), widow of Robert Francis Kennedy and mother of Joseph Patrick Kennedy II, Robert Francis Kennedy Jr. and other nine
  • Eunice Kennedy Shriver (1921–2009), sister of President John F. Kennedy; wife of Robert Sargent Shriver, Jr.
  • Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis (1929–1994), First Lady of the United States; widow of John F. Kennedy
  • Jean Kennedy Smith (born 1928), ambassador to Ireland; sister of President John F. Kennedy
  • John F. Kennedy (1917–1963), 35th President of the United States
  • John F. Kennedy, Jr. (1960–1999), attorney, publisher; son of John and Jacqueline
  • Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr. (1888–1969), former Ambassador to the United Kingdom; father of President John F. Kennedy
  • Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. (1915–1944), WWII pilot; eldest son of Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr.
  • Joseph P. Kennedy II (born 1952), former US representative from Massachusetts; son of Robert F. Kennedy
  • Kathleen Cavendish, Marchioness of Hartington (1920–1948), widow of the heir to the Devonshire dukedom; sister of President John F. Kennedy
  • Patrick J. Kennedy (born 1967), US representative from Rhode Island, son of Ted Kennedy
  • Patricia Kennedy Lawford (1924–2006), sister of president John F. Kennedy, wife of Peter Lawford and mother of four
  • Robert F. Kennedy (1925–1968), US senator from New York; US Attorney General
  • Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. (born 1954), attorney, environmentalist, activist
  • Rose Kennedy (1890–1995), Kennedy family matriarch; mother of President John F. Kennedy
  • Rosemary Kennedy (1918–2005), oldest sister of President John F. Kennedy
  • In arts and entertainment

  • Kennedy, American musician
  • A. L. Kennedy (Alison Louise Kennedy, born 1965), Scottish novelist
  • Adam Kennedy (actor) (1922–1997), actor, screenwriter, novelist, painter
  • Andrew Karpati Kennedy (1931–2016), author and literary critic
  • Arthur Kennedy (actor) (1914–1990), American actor
  • Betty Kennedy, retired Canadian senator, television personality
  • Bill Kennedy (actor) (1908–1997), American actor and television personality
  • Carl Kennedy, stage actor
  • Cory Kennedy, American Internet celebrity
  • Darren Kennedy, Irish television presenter, fashion writer and stylist
  • Douglas Kennedy, UK-based American novelist
  • Edgar Kennedy (1890–1948), American actor
  • George Kennedy (1925–2016), American actor
  • Graeme K. (Graeme Kennedy), American musician
  • Graham Kennedy, Australian comedian and television presenter
  • Jamie Kennedy, American comedian and actor
  • Jon Kennedy, British drummer and electronic musician
  • Kathleen Kennedy (film producer) (born 1953), film producer
  • Lena Kennedy, English romantic novelist
  • Leon S. Kennedy, frequent character in the Resident Evil franchise
  • Lisa Kennedy Montgomery (born 1972), stage name Kennedy, American political satirist and former MTV VJ
  • Lucy Napaljarri Kennedy, indigenous Australian artist
  • Ludovic Kennedy, British journalist, broadcaster, and author
  • Margaret Kennedy (1896–1967), English novelist
  • Mary Kennedy, Irish television personality
  • Merna Kennedy (1908–1944), American actress
  • Mr. Kennedy, the ring name used by American professional wrestler Ken Anderson (born 1976) during his time in WWE
  • Myles Kennedy (born 1969), American rock singer and guitarist
  • Nigel Kennedy, English violinist
  • Patrick Kennedy, British theatre director
  • Sarah Kennedy British television and radio broadcaster
  • Sean J. Kennedy American drumset player, percussionist, author and educator
  • Sheila Kennedy, Penthouse model in the early 1980s
  • Sheila Kennedy (architect) American architect
  • Tom Kennedy (television presenter) (born 1927), stage name of American game show host James Narz
  • William Kennedy (author) (born 1928), American writer and journalist
  • William J. Kennedy, American writer, winner of the 1984 Pulitzer Prize for fiction
  • In politics and government

  • Alfred J. Kennedy (1877–1944), New York politician
  • Ambrose Jerome Kennedy, American politician
  • Anthony Kennedy, US Supreme Court Associate Justice
  • Arthur Kennedy, British colonial administrator
  • Betty Kennedy, retired Canadian senator, television personality
  • Charles Kennedy, Scottish politician, former leader of the Liberal Democrats
  • Claudia J. Kennedy, first female lieutenant general in the US Army, noted intelligence officer
  • David Kennedy (Australian politician) (born 1940), Australian politician
  • David M. Kennedy, 60th Secretary of the Treasury of the United States of America, and US Ambassador to NATO
  • Edward Joseph Kennedy (born 1851), Irish nationalist politician, Member of Parliament for South Sligo
  • Gerard Kennedy, Canadian politician
  • Helena Kennedy, Baroness Kennedy of The Shaws, Scottish barrister, writer and politician
  • Hiram Raleigh Kennedy, American politician
  • John Neely Kennedy, Louisiana United States Senator and Republican politician
  • John Pendleton Kennedy (born 1795), Maryland author and politician, Secretary of the Navy in the Filmore administration
  • Leland T. Kennedy, US Air Force pilot twice awarded the Air Force Cross
  • Mark Kennedy, British undercover policeman
  • Mark Kennedy, American politician
  • Neil Kennedy, Lord Kennedy (1854–1918), was a Scottish advocate and legal academic, Chairman of the Scottish Land Court 1912–18
  • Nigel Kennedy (politician) (1889–1964), British barrister, army officer and politician
  • Sir Paul Kennedy, British judge
  • Seema Kennedy (born 1974), British Conservative Party politician, Member of Parliament (MP) for South Ribble since May 2015
  • Thomas Laird Kennedy, Premier of Ontario (1948–1949)
  • In sports

  • Adam Kennedy, Major League Baseball player
  • Allan Kennedy (born 1958), Canadian-born American football player
  • Ben Kennedy, Australian rugby league footballer
  • Bob Kennedy, Major League Baseball player and manager
  • Bob Kennedy (1921–2010), American football player
  • Bob Kennedy (1928–1991), American football player
  • Bob Kennedy, distance runner
  • Callum Kennedy, English footballer
  • Clem Kennedy, Australian rugby league footballer
  • Cortez Kennedy, American football player
  • Courtney Kennedy, dual Olympic medal winner in women's ice hockey
  • Dave Kennedy (footballer) (born 1949), English footballer
  • David Kennedy (racing driver) (born 1953), Irish racing driver
  • Edward Shirley Kennedy, British alpinist
  • Fred Kennedy (1902–1963) English football player.
  • Gilbert G. Kennedy (1844–1909), Scottish footballer
  • Ian Kennedy (born 1984), American baseball player
  • Jim Kennedy, American baseball player, brother of Junior Kennedy
  • Joshua Kennedy, Australian soccer player
  • Junior Kennedy, American baseball player, brother of Jim Kennedy
  • Kenneth Kennedy, the first Winter Olympian for Australia
  • Kevin Kennedy (baseball) (born 1954), American baseball manager and broadcaster
  • Marcus Kennedy, American basketball player
  • Mark Kennedy, Irish football (soccer) player
  • Mike Kennedy, American college baseball coach
  • Nery Kennedy, Paraguayan javelin thrower
  • Nick Kennedy, English rugby player
  • Pat Kennedy, American college basketball coach
  • Patrick Kennedy (swimmer) (born 1964), American swimmer
  • Ray Kennedy, English footballer
  • Ron Kennedy (1953–2009), Canadian ice hockey player
  • Simon Kennedy (born 1967), English sports agent
  • Ted Kennedy (ice hockey) (1925–2009), Canadian ice hockey player
  • Tim Kennedy, mixed martial arts fighter
  • Tim Kennedy, hockey player
  • In other fields

  • Adrian Kennedy, Irish radio host
  • Alexander Kennedy, British civil engineer
  • Benjamin Hall Kennedy, English classical scholar
  • Betty Ann Kennedy, American bridge player
  • D. James Kennedy, American Presbyterian pastor and theologian
  • Diane Kennedy, American CPA, speaker, financial writer
  • Donald Kennedy, American scientist, public administrator, and academic
  • Duncan Kennedy, Carter Professor of General Jurisprudence, Harvard Law School
  • Edmund Kennedy, Australian explorer
  • Edward Kennedy, American journalist who first reported the German surrender in World War II
  • Edward Stewart Kennedy, American historian of science
  • Ian Kennedy, Irish landscape architect
  • Joseph W. Kennedy, American physicist
  • Jonny Kennedy, subject of the documentary The Boy Whose Skin Fell Off
  • Kathryn Kennedy, California wine maker
  • Margrit Kennedy, German architect and author
  • Myles Burton Kennedy, Furness ironmaster
  • Paul Kennedy, British historian of international relations
  • Rita Shugart, née Kennedy, American bridge player
  • Stetson Kennedy (1916–2011), American human rights activist and folklore collector
  • Thomas Francis Kennedy (bishop) (1858–1917), American Catholic archbishop
  • Name lists

  • Alan Kennedy, several people
  • Andrew Kennedy, several people
  • Arthur Kennedy, several people
  • Jack Kennedy, several people
  • James Kennedy, several people
  • John Kennedy, several people
  • Martin Kennedy, several people
  • Matthew Kennedy, several people
  • Terry Kennedy, several people
  • Walter Kennedy, several people
  • References

    Kennedy (surname) Wikipedia