Fifteen years ago, on July 16, 1999, John F. Kennedy Jr., one of the nation's most beloved figures, perished in a plane crash. From the moment JFK Jr. was born he was in the spotlight. His father, President Kennedy, had been elected just 17 days before his son was born. 

The nation grew to adore "John-John" as the lad in the famous picture of him playing underneath his father's desk in the Oval Office. 

JFK Jr. JFK Jr. under his father's desk in the Oval Office. Photo: Reuters

As a toddler, he can be seen playing with the pearls his glamorous mother Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy wore. 

Jacqueline and JKF Jr JFK Jr. and mother Jacqueline Kennedy. Photo: Reuters

After his assassination on Nov. 22, 1963, the president was buried on JFK Jr.’s third birthday. At the funeral, he saluted his father’s flag-draped casket, which sealed him as an American icon.

JFK Jr. President Kennedy was buried on JFK Jr.'s third birthday. Photo: Reuters

Tabloids and photographers documented his life. Paparazzi were there where he graduated from New York University School of Law.

In 1988, he was named People magazine’s “Sexiest Man Alive,” which is a title that is held by Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine today.

JFK Jr. JFK Jr. was a regular on magazine covers. Photo: People Magazine

But never was the obsession with JFK Jr. greater than when he married wife Carolyn Bessette, whom he secretly wed in Georgia in 1996.

JFK Jr. JFK Jr. and Carolyn Bessette Photo: Reuters

On July 16, 1999, his plane went missing after he was supposed to attend a wedding at Martha's Vineyard in Massachusetts with his wife and sister-in-law Lauren. He lost control of the plane and it plummeted into the Atlantic Ocean. Their bodies weren’t discovered until days later after Navy divers found them at the sea’s bottom, with JFK Jr. still strapped into his seat.

JFK Jr. JFK Jr. and Carolyn Bessette. Photo: Reuters

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