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6 things to know about Joseph Kennedy III

Joseph Kennedy III speaking at the 2016 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.Paul Sancya/Associated Press/File

US Representative Joseph P. Kennedy III, a scion of the legendary Kennedy political clan, gave the Democratic response to Republican President Trump’s State of the Union speech Tuesday night. Here are six things to know about him:

■  The 37-year-old Kennedy is a teetotaler. His beverages of choice are coffee and Diet Coke. He told the Globe in a 2012 profile that “it’s just a personal preference. . . . [Alcohol is] really just something I have never felt an attraction to.” His abstemious ways earned him the nickname “milkman” in college.

■  Kennedy is fluent in Spanish. He worked in the Peace Corps in the Dominican Republic for two years.


■  Kennedy recently became a father again. His son, James, is about 6 weeks old. He also has a 2-year-old daughter named Eleanor. He lives with his wife, Lauren Burchfield Kennedy, in Newton. She is the cofounder of a nonprofit called Neighborhood Villages.

■  Kennedy has a fraternal twin brother, Matthew, who was born eight minutes before him (“the greatest eight minutes of my life,” Matthew said). The two went to Buckingham Browne and Nichols together, then to Stanford University together. Later, Joseph Kennedy and his brother entered Harvard Law School and Harvard Business School, respectively, at the same time. Matthew is now founder of an international business development consulting firm.

■  Kennedy has kept a fairly low profile for much of his five years in the House, seeming to go out of his way not to capitalize on his family’s name, the Globe reported Saturday.

■  But Kennedy has had a knack for taking on Trump and the Republicans. His eloquent speeches — criticizing their efforts to change health care and immigration policy — have garnered millions of views on Facebook. His biggest hit was a speech criticizing a Republican bill to replace the Affordable Care Act.