AP Photo / Paul R. Benoit

When he returned to Andover, John worked with the school’s community outreach program, teaching English as a second language to immigrant students at a nearby middle school two days a week.

Jackie threw a large combo party at Le Club in Manhattan for Caroline’s 21st and 18th birthday in 1978, and the younger set partied until the wee hours of the morning. Headlines were made when John’s close pal Billy Noonan started tangling up with the paparazzi waiting for them to come out at 4 a.m. and John was knocked to the ground trying to untangle his friend. Noonan later wrote a letter of apology to Jackie for causing a spectacle.

John spent 10 weeks in Kenya in the summer of 1979, completing a program at the National Outdoor Leadership School before going to college. (He got into Harvard, the alma mater of his father and many other Kennedys, but passed knowing he hadn’t got on his own.)

The Ivy League was still alluring, however, and John chose Brown University. He really got into the theater in college and Jackie went to his shows, not so secretly hoping that he wasn’t taking acting too seriously.

“She thought he was meant for bigger things,” Andersen told ABC News this month. “She felt it was under him … What she wanted for John was the traditional route into politics that was through the law.”

After graduating, he worked for the New York Office of Business Development until 1986, attended New York University law school and, after passing the bar three times, got a position as assistant prosecutor in the Manhattan district attorney.

And all along he remained extremely devoted to his mother.