Joseph Patrick Kennedy III (born October 4, 1980) is an American lawyer for Middlesex County's District Attorney's office. On February 16, 2012 he announced that he would run for the congressional seat in Massachusetts's 4th congressional district. His father is former U.S. Congressman Joseph Patrick Kennedy II.
He was born to U.S. Congressman Joseph Patrick Kennedy II of Massachusetts's 8th congressional district and Sheila Brewster Rauch of the Brewster family. His grandfather is former U.S. Senator and U.S. Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy. He has a younger non-identical twin brother, Matthew Rauch Kennedy. Kennedy's parents were divorced in 1991. He attended Stanford University in Palo Alto, California and he studied industrial engineering. He was also the captain of the lacrosse team. and graduated from Harvard Law School. There, he worked for the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau, which provides free legal services to low-income people in civil matters.
In 2004, he decided to join the Peace Corps in the Dominican Republic, becoming the first member of his family to serve as a volunteer in the organization, which was started by U.S. President John F. Kennedy, his great uncle. He worked with projects related to ecotourism. He did that for two years before going into law. He helped control the Río Damajagua National Park near Altamira in Puerto Plata Province and raised more than $100,000 in seed money to help the tour guide community
He has worked for Massachusetts pro-bono law firm specializing in mortgage-foreclosure mitigation. He was a prosecutor for two years in the Cape and Islands District Attorney’s Office, as the Assistant DA. He was then employed by Middlesex County District Attorney's office, holding the same position, under the county's D.A. Gerry Leone. He resigned on January 20, 2012 in preparation of the announcement that he would seek political office.