Stephen E. Smith was the husband of Jean Ann Kennedy (sister of John F. Kennedy). After serving with the Air Force for 2 years during the Korean War, he joined his family’s business, Cleary Brothers Inc., which operated tugs and barges in New York Harbor. After that he headed Park Agency Inc, where he managed many of the Kennedy family’s investments, something he continued to do throughout the rest of his life.
In 1960 He went on to be the campaign manager and was largely successful in mitigating the publicity of Republican allegations of voter fraud in Illinois and Texas, a notion that threatened to derail the 1960 election and possibly further elections. In fact, when a circuit judge named Thomas Kluczynski threw out a federal lawsuit to contend the voting totals, the State Board of Elections unanimously rejected the challenge. All this in spite of evidence of dead voter names on the ballet and one instance of 56 voters all being from the same house.
Ultimately, he played a pivotal and unrecognized role in shaping America as a whole by being the backbone of the Kennedy family. His influence over the Kennedy’s finances and affairs guided their success for years to come.