By People Staff
August 01, 1999 12:00 PM

His paternal grandfather, his father, three uncles and his sister had all attended the same college—Harvard. So John F. Kennedy Jr. immediately signaled that he would be no ordinary Kennedy when, in 1979, he enrolled at Brown. There, he led a low-key collegiate life, seeking the spotlight only on the campus stage, where he appeared in Ben Jonson’s Volpone. “He did what he wanted,” says classmate Richard Wiese, 40, a freelance newscaster. “He always said he wasn’t going to change.” It seemed Kennedy might be bound for the family business after all when he went on to New York University law school, but then he flunked the state bar exam twice. “God willing,” he told reporters, “I’ll pass it…the next time, or when I’m 95.” He managed at 29, on his third try, and went on to win all six of his cases as an assistant prosecutor for the Manhattan district attorney. “He was an average trial attorney,” says New York State Supreme Court Judge Richard Lowe, who presided over Kennedy’s first trial. “But he handled who he was with extreme grace.”

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