Kenilworth, Illinois , United States
|| July 04, 1963
Jun 06, 2009 01:41am
|Info||Christopher George Kennedy was born July 4, 1963 in Boston, Massachusetts. He is the 8th of Robert F. Kennedy and Ethel Skakel Kennedy's 11 children. |
Kennedy grew up in McLean, Virginia and attended the Potomac School through 9th grade before switching to Georgetown Prep, graduating in 1982. While in high school, he volunteered at a home for runaway children. Together with his friend Brad Blank, at age 16 he incorporated his first business, Breakwater Boats, a sailboat rental operation on Kalmus Beach in Hyannis.
Kennedy earned a bachelor's degree in political science from Boston College in 1986. While at Boston College, Chris was selected by the Political Science department to represent the school at the Presidential Leadership Conference at the Gerald R. Ford Library in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Kennedy moved to Chicago in 1986 to work for Archer Daniels Midland Kennedy began working at The Merchandise Mart,
He began his career with Merchandise Mart Properties, Inc., a subsidiary of Vornado Realty Trust, one of the largest commercial property realtors in the United States, as a research analyst in 1987. In 1988, he was promoted to Director of the Architectural Products Division of The Merchandise Mart and earned promotions to Vice President in 1991 and Executive Vice President in 1994, the same year that he earned a Masters of Management degree from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University. Kennedy was named President of MMPI in October 2000.
Kennedy sits on the board of trustees of Ariel Mutual Funds, and also serves on the board of directors of the Interface, Inc., as well as several privately held companies.
He met Sheila Sinclair Berner (b. December 4, 1962) at Boston College; the two wed in 1987. Sheila earned a law degree and practiced at Sidley & Austin in Chicago before retiring to take care of their children.
The Kennedys live in the suburbs of Chicago and have four children:
* Katherine Berner Kennedy (b. October 4, 1990);
* Christopher George Kennedy, Jr. (b. June 15, 1992);
* Sarah Louise Kennedy (b. September 26, 1994);
* Clare Rose Kennedy (b. November 3, 1998)
His political activism began at an early age, and in 1979 and 1980 he worked on his Uncle Edward M. Kennedy's bid for the Democratic Nomination for President. He was also treasurer of the Joseph P. Kennedy for Congress Committee in 1988. Over the years he has organized numerous fundraising events in Chicago for Senator Edward M. Kennedy, Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, Joseph P. Kennedy and Mark K. Shriver.
Beyond his family, Kennedy chaired the Transition Committee for John Stroger when Stroger was first elected as Cook County Board President and was General Chairman for the Paul Vallas for Illinois Governor Committee, and he hosted a fundraiser for Barack Obama in his bid for United States Senate.
Chris is also active in numerous nonprofit groups. He is the treasurer of the Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr., Foundation. He serves on the board of directors of the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago and the Catholic Theological Union. He is the past chairman of the Chicago Convention and Tourism Bureau and is a former chairman of the Greater Chicago Food Depository. Additionally, he served on the boards of Citizens' Energy Corporation, El Valor Agency, the Heartland Alliance, Children's Memorial Hospital, the Irish Fellowship Club, the Center for Disability and Elder Law and the Illinois Council on Economic Education.
He has also been involved with the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, the City Club of Chicago, the Executives Club of Chicago, the Economic Club of Chicago and The Commercial Club of Chicago.