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American Samoa lost a good friend over the weekend. The archaeologist Joseph Kennedy died unexpectedly in his sleep Saturday night at his home in Pupukea, Oahu. He was 63.

As head of and principle investigator for Archeological Consultants of the Pacific Kennedy conducted close to three decades of essential archaeological and historic investigations in both Tutuila and Manu’a. Few men were more familiar with the hard evidence of these islands’ past.

He was the author of Tropical Frontier: America’s South Seas Colony (2009), the most important book ever published on American Samoa’s long relationship with the United States.

Over the years Joe made many friends in the islands. I was one of them. None of us who got to know Joe will ever forget his ebullient (if often Jobian) love of life. There were many fine meals and evenings of laughter, as well as many engaging years at shared intellectual tasks. He will be dearly missed.