By People Staff
August 01, 1999 12:00 PM

From the beginning, he belonged to us. Taken to our hearts for 38 years, this heir to America’s most beloved dynasty—blessed by circumstance, annealed by tragedy and through it all admirably even-keeled—became our collective godson. At every turn, we celebrated the accomplishments, adventures and even the antics of John F. Kennedy Jr. Although he was American royalty, he had an effortless common touch—helping the homeless, working with disadvantaged children and having a kind word for everyone he encountered along his way. He embodied a favorite biblical passage of his paternal grandmother, Rose: “Of everyone to whom much has been given, much will be required.” Whether tipping a waitress or throwing a Frisbee in Central Park, he was the consummate Kennedy. Still, as he said in 1993, “It’s hard for me to talk about a legacy or a mystique. It’s my family.” Somehow, it is ours as well.