The tragic family has been plagued by more than a dozen untimely deaths.
Maeve Kennedy Townsend McKean, 40, and her 8-year-old son Gideon Joseph Kennedy McKean have gone missing after a canoeing accident on Chesapeake Bay.
The pair -- who are the granddaughter and great grandson of the late Senator Robert F. Kennedy -- were trying to retrieve a ball from the water on Friday when they got into difficulty.
The disappearance is just the latest in a string of tragedies that have plagued the family, in what some refer to as the "Kennedy Curse".
The family's misfortunes can be traced as far back as 1941, when Joseph P. Kennedy Sr decided to have his daughter Rosemary Kennedy undergo a lobotomy at the age of 23. Rosemary, who was believed to have been intellectually disabled, suffered from severe mood swings, and her father was worried about it damaging the family reputation. The procedure left her unable to walk or speak properly, and she was institutionalized until her death in 2005, aged 86.