Shriver, who counted her late relative as a cousin, called her “a brave young woman.” Kennedy Hill was a granddaughter of Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, while the I’ve Been Thinking author, 63, was the late politician’s niece.
Robert Jr., 65, shared several memories of his niece, as well as deemed her “fierce, both in her love for her family and yearning for justice.” One of the photos showed his wife, actress Cheryl Hines, moving Kennedy Hill into her college dorm.
Kennedy Hill died on Thursday, August 1, from an apparent overdose. According to The New York Times, emergency personnel responded to the family’s compound in Hyannis Port, Massachusetts, and transported her to Cape Cod Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
The Cape and Islands District Attorney’s Office stated that her cause of death “remains under investigation.”
The family confirmed the news in a statement to The New York Times. “Our hearts are shattered by the loss of our beloved Saoirse,” the Kennedys said. “Her life was filled with hope, promise and love.”
RFK’s widow, Ethel Kennedy, who lives at the Hyannis Port compound, added that “the world is a little less beautiful today.”
Kennedy Hill studied at Boston College and was expected to graduate in 2020.
She previously went to school at Deerfield Academy in Massachusetts, during which time she wrote about her battle with depression in the student newspaper, The Deerfield Scroll. Kennedy Hill divulged in a 2016 article that her issues began in middle school. She noted that her mental health struggles would “be with me for the rest of my life.”
Scroll to see tributes from the far-reaching Kennedy family in the wake of the college student’s death.