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The Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. Foundation


Last Updated: 2016-02-04

At A Glance

The Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. Foundation

1133 19th St. N.W., 12th Fl.

Washington, DC United States 20036-3604

Telephone: (202) 393-1250


Type of Grantmaker

Independent foundation

Additional Descriptor

  • Celebrity: Politics
  • Family foundation

Financial Data

(yr. ended 2013-12-31)

Assets: $16,517,290

Total giving: $25,000





Additional Contact Information

Fellowship inquiry:


Incorporated in 1946 in DC - Founded by the late Mr. and Mrs. Joseph P. Kennedy, parents of U.S. President John F. Kennedy and United States Senators Robert F. Kennedy and Edward Kennedy, as a memorial to their eldest son, Joseph Jr., who was killed in action during World War II. In the 1960s, the foundation focused national attention on the problem of mental retardation through grants for research, treatment, and education programs. In response to their concern for the needs of children with mental retardation, the Kennedys initiated broad support for recreational activities, including seed money for day camps and the creation of the Special Olympics, Inc., a worldwide program designed to provide opportunities for sports training and athletic competition for individuals with mental retardation. In the 1970's, the foundation developed a major interest in the legal, social, and ethical issues posed by scientific discoveries in the life sciences (now known as bioethics). In the 1980's, the foundation's concerns extended to include the social, educational, moral, clinical, and health needs of pregnant adolescents, their infants, and their families. Current focus is on state of the art services and support for people with mental retardation and their families, including housing and education

Purpose and Activities

The foundation's main objectives are the prevention of mental retardation by identifying its causes and improving means by which society deals with its mentally retarded citizens. Emphasis on the use of funds in areas where a multiplier effect is possible. Fellowships limited to four one-year Washington, DC-based Kennedy Foundation Public Policy Leadership Fellows.

Program Area(s)

The grantmaker has identified the following area(s) of interest:

Grants to Individuals Program

Grants to individuals in the field of developmental disabilities to learn about public policy through work in government offices.

Public Policy Fellowship Program

The Foundation awards professionals and family members a stipend to work in Washington for a full year, where they actively participate in public policy development through work on the staff of a congressional committee, or a federal agency. The program offers opportunities to be involved in policy and legislative development in key areas such as special education, health and mental health care for persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities, child care, housing, justice, child welfare and other areas related to improving the quality of life for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Fields of Interest

  • Developmental disability services
  • Learning disorders
International Interests
  • Central America
  • Nicaragua
Population Groups
  • People with disabilities

Financial Data

Year ended 2013-12-31

Assets: $16,517,290 (market value)

Gifts received: $36,625

Expenditures: $555,082

Total giving: $25,000

Qualifying distributions: $161,507

Giving activities include:

$25,000 for 1 grant