Kerry wouldn’t be the first secretary of state in his family

By Laurie Bennett

December 14, 2012 at 7:26am

Should Sen. John Kerry become the next secretary of State, now that Susan Rice has removed her name from consideration, he will not be the first person in his extended family to hold the office.

Kerry’s first wife, the late Julia Thorne, was a great-niece of Henry L. Stimson, who was secretary of State under Woodrow Wilson and secretary of War during World War II.

John Kerry
John Kerry

Like Kerry, Stimson married into a connected family. His wife, Mabel White Stimson, was the great-great-granddaughter of Roger Sherman, signer of both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.

Kerry married into two powerful families. After divorcing Thorne in 1988, he married his current wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry, in 1995. She was the widow of Sen. John Heinz, who was killed in 1991, when his plane crashed midair with a helicopter.

Heinz was an heir to the Heinz Co. ketchup fortune. Kerry is now the third-richest member of Congress, with an estimated wealth of at least $193 million.

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