Joseph Patrick Kennedy III (born October 4, 1980) is an American lawyer and politician serving as the U.S. Representative for Massachusetts’s 4th congressional district since 2013. A member of the Democratic Party, he represents a district that extends from Boston’s western suburbs to the state’s South Coast. He worked as an assistant district attorney in the Cape and Islands and Middlesex County, Massachusetts, offices before his election to Congress.
A member of the Kennedy family, he is a son of U.S. Representative Joseph P. Kennedy II, a grandson of U.S. Senator and U.S. Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, a grandnephew of U.S. President John F. Kennedy and U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy, and a great-grandson of U.S. Ambassador to the United Kingdom Joseph P. Kennedy Sr.
Born in Boston, Kennedy was raised in the area with his twin brother, Matthew Rauch Kennedy. After graduating from Stanford University with a bachelor’s degree, he spent two years in the Dominican Republic as a member of the Peace Corps before earning a Juris Doctor at Harvard Law School in 2009. He resigned from his role as assistant district attorney in early 2012 to run for the U.S. House of Representatives seat held by the retiring Barney Frank. Kennedy was sworn into office in January 2013 and sits on the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.
In 2020, rather than run for reelection to his House seat, Kennedy unsuccessfully challenged Senator Ed Markey for the Democratic nomination in the Massachusetts U.S. Senate election. He will thus be leaving Congress when his term ends on January 3, 2021.