In 1995 John
Kerry, who was divorced at the time, married the widow of former
fellow senator John Heinz of Pennsylvania. Teresa Heinz, a former
Republican, is heir to the Heinz condiment fortune.
Kerry has said in the past that if other candidates launch media
attacks against him during the campaign, he might use some of
his wife's money to respond, but it is unclear how much would
be available. Teresa Heinz controls a reported $550 million to
$600 million, but much of that may not be available for Kerry's
"A big chunk of Mrs. Kerry's fortune could be off-limits,"
Business Week reported in the summer of 2003. "Campaign finance
analysts say candidates are allowed to use unlimited amounts of
their owncash, but they cannot spend assets that belong to a family
In December 2003 Kerry mortgaged his half of a $10 million home
he owns with his wife in order to shore up lagging campaign finances.
Teresa Heinz Kerry grew up in Mozambique, Africa, where her Portuguese
father worked as a doctor. She has worked as an interpreter and
currently heads the Heinz charitable foundations. She has three
sons from her marriage to John Heinz.
John Kerry has two daughters Alexandra, 30, a filmmaker and Vanessa,
26, who is in medical school. Both have actively campaigned on
behalf of their father. Kerry and his first wife, writer Julia
Thorne, divorced in 1988.
In 2003 Kerry learned that his paternal grandfather, a man of
Czech ancestry, was born Jewish but converted to Catholicism before
immigrating to the United States from Austria in 1905. Kerry's
younger brother Cameron converted to his wife's faith, Judaism,
in 1983, long before the family knew about its Jewish heritage.
In February 2003 Kerry left the campaign trail to undergo surgery
for prostate cancer. He has made a full recovery.
By Jason Manning, Online NewsHour