Is There More To Mary Jo Kopechne’s Life Than Chappaquiddick?

A new book is coming out about the life of Mary Jo Kopechne.

She was a pretty young woman who drowned in a Chappaquiddick Island waterway in 1969 after the United States Senator Ted Kennedy (brother of JFK) reportedly drove his car off a bridge and left the scene.

It is generally considered to be the event that derailed his presidential aspirations.

But that’s about all most people know about Forty Fort, PA native Mary Jo Kopechne, according to her surviving family members.

They believe she deserves a better legacy, and the family is about to release a book about her life.

Kopechne’s family hopes the book, “Our Mary Jo,” and a scholarship fund started in her name at Misericordia University in Dallas will finally give her a proper identity.

“Mary Jo always got lost in the shuffle of Chappaquiddick,” said co-author William Nelson, whose mother was Kopechne’s first cousin. “In many ways, her book and her scholarship kind of take Mary Jo back from Chappaquiddick. They finally bring her back to the Wyoming Valley.”

Kopechne was a teacher who graduated from Caldwell College in New Jersey with a degree in business and education, states  She got involved with politics, and rose to a key position with Ted’s other brother Bobby Kennedy.

The book doesn’t dwell on Chappaquiddick and how Kopechne died, states

In fact, it’s barely mentioned. The 180-page book focuses on her life, the potential of the rising political operative, and the impact of her death at age 28, her family says.

(Updated post)