The Who2 Blog

Kennedy Without the Schlossberg

After Caroline Kennedy‘s recent endorsement of Barack Obama, some blogs commented that Kennedy “dropped her married name” to give the endorsement. This aroused our curiosity.

Who2 has itself always listed Kennedy by what we believed to be her legal name, Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg. (She married businessman Edwin A. Schlossberg in 1986.)

But now we think we’ve been wrong. We believe her legal name is actually Caroline Kennedy.

We’ve found several circumstantial proofs of this. The Library of Congress, for instance, calls her Caroline Kennedy — and the Library is usually a stickler for name accuracy. (Kennedy has written all her books as Caroline Kennedy. She is also called that by her publisher.)

The John F. Kennedy Library (where she heads the board of directors) also calls her Caroline Kennedy.

We also note that older news stories tend to use the “Schlossberg” while newer ones tend not to use it. A New York Times archive search for “Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg” shows many stories from the 1990s and early 2000s. The same search for “Caroline Kennedy” and “-Schlossberg” shows many more recent articles. That makes us wonder if perhaps newspaper stylebooks have been correcting the error over the years.

None of this addresses the question directly, of course. And we haven’t found wedding announcements or other documents that say “the bride is keeping her name” or any other such direct statement.

However, we have found two places where Caroline Kennedy discussed this herself, albeit in passing. Both were in 2002. The first was on CNN’s Larry King Show on May 7th (transcript):

KING: How is Mr. Schlossberg?

C. KENNEDY: He is great.

KING: That is not your — you don’t use the name Schlossberg, do you? I mean, you do and you don’t.

C. KENNEDY: Right. Well, I never really changed my name. But Ed is wonderful in every possible way.

The next instance came a week later, in a Time magazine article titled “10 Questions for Caroline Kennedy”:

Q: Why do you use the name Kennedy on your books, rather than Kennedy Schlossberg, your married name?

A: I never actually changed my name. But people call me whatever they call me.

That second comment, in particular, seems quite clear.

Because of this, as of today we have changed our profile, dropping the name Schlossberg and identifying her as Caroline Kennedy. We regret the error.

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