New Ryan Murphy show to revisit the tragedy of American royalty, JFK Jr and Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy

John John and Carolyn were the closest thing America had to a Royal Family

JFK Jr and Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy
(Image credit: Tyler Mallory/Liaison)

Even before John Fitzgerald Kennedy Junior become John John in the tabloids, he was part of American royalty. His father was JFK, his mother was Jackie Kennedy. They were part of Camelot, the mythical and doomed Kennedy clan.

As a young child, JFK Jr would appear in one of the most iconic pictures of all time; standing tall and straight at his father's funeral procession, bravely saluting the coffin, aged only three-years-old.

Having stolen the hearts of the nation as a child, America watched him grow into one of the most eligible bachelors.

Front cover of NY Daily News the day after JFK's funeral

(Image credit: NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)

But just as John John became a fixture in the press and was on the verge of going the playboy route, he met the love of his life. Carolyn Bessette and JFK Jr had a whirlwind romance that captivated the nation and solidified their status as America’s golden couple.

But the Kennedy curse was to strike again, and the pair’s love story would end in tragedy.

It’s clear to see why Ryan Murphy will delve into this chapter of American history in a new anthology series, titled American Love Story.

Who was Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy?

Carolyn Bessette worked for Calvin Klein, and this is where she earned her reputation as a chic powerhouse.

Carolyn Bessette Kennedy

(Image credit: RJ Capak/WireImage/Getty)

During her successful career there, she became the director of publicity for the company's flagship store in Manhattan and later took over a position dealing with Klein's high-profile clients, such as actress Annette Bening and newscaster Diane Sawyer.

By the time she left Calvin Klein she was the director of show productions, earning a salary in the low six figures.

When did John John and Carolyn Bessette start dating?

Bessette first met Kennedy in 1992, and the two began dating in 1994 and they became a permanent fixture in the press.

The pair dominated headlines, with gossip columns detailing where they ate and shopped, and even covering their arguments.

Despite the intense media scrutiny of being America’s golden couple, the pair managed to wed in secret on September 21, 1996.

John F. Kennedy Jr and Carolyn Bessette walk their dog in New York

(Image credit: Evan Agostini/Liaison/Getty)

What happened to JFK Jr and Carolyn?

Happily ever after isn’t something that many Kennedys were familiar with. From assassinations to premature deaths, plane crashes to overdoses, the many unexpected, accidental and shocking deaths have been described as the Kennedy curse, and JFK Jr and Carolyn were to fall prey to it as well.

The pair, as well as Carolyn’s sister, Lauren Bessette, died when the plane he was piloting crashed into the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts.

The crash, on July 16, 1999, was attributed to pilot error and spatial disorientation.

JFK Jr and Carolyn Bessette Kennedy

(Image credit: Getty Images)

When will the new Ryan Murphy series air? 

There aren’t too many details about the show yet.

Speaking about greenlighting the new anthology series, Dana Walden, chairman of entertainment, Walt Disney Television said to Variety: ‘More than a decade ago, Ryan Murphy expressed interest in expanding the American Horror Story model to be able to tell different American stories, which have long captivated so many of us. It was a brilliant idea.’

‘Adding these new instalments to the franchise will enable Ryan, Brad, Nina and Brad and their talented teams to tackle riveting stories outside of the horror and crime genres.’

Jack Slater
Freelance writer

Jack Slater is not the Last Action Hero, but that's what comes up first when you Google him. Preferring a much more sedentary life, Jack gets his thrills by covering news, entertainment, celebrity, film and culture for woman&home, and other digital publications.

Having written for various print and online publications—ranging from national syndicates to niche magazines—Jack has written about nearly everything there is to write about, covering LGBTQ+ news, celebrity features, TV and film scoops, reviewing the latest theatre shows lighting up London’s West End and the most pressing of SEO based stories.