Tragedy at the storied Kennedy Compound in Hyannis Port yesterday. The 22-year-old granddaughter of Ethel and the late Sen. Robert F. Kennedy overdosed on drugs and died. Saoirse Kennedy Hill was a student at Boston College and was expected to graduate in 2020, the Boston Globe reported.

Another kid is dead after messing with drugs.

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Saoirse Kennedy Hill and Courtney Kennedy Hill. Getty Images

Newspaper headlines screamed the news this morning that yet another tragedy had befallen the Kennedy clan. They do seem to have their share. But when tragedy strikes a wealthy and celebrated family such as the Kennedy family, it is news. When it happens in families of less notoriety, most times we never hear about it.

Take the case of Dinyal New, who lost both of her children to gang violence in Oakland in 2014. Her two boys, Lee and Lamar, were shot to death 19 days apart. Or Camiella Williams of Chicago, who has lost 23 close friends and relatives to gun violence in the last 12 years.

Look around at the thousands of seemingly nameless and faceless young people who have died just here in Massachusetts alone due to drug overdoses in each of the last five years. They all had stories, but we'll never hear them because they are not Kennedys.

All drug deaths of tragic.

The death of 22-year-old Saoirse Kennedy Hill is sad. But it is no more tragic than the death of any other family's son or daughter or grandchild. Saoirse Kennedy Hill had opportunities that most young people her age don't have. Like many young Kennedy family members before her, she chose drugs. She lost.

Perhaps that's the biggest tragedy of all.

Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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