Who is Karen Houghton? Cause of Death of Kris Jenner's Sister Finally Revealed

While the immediate cause of Karen Houghton's death was unspecified at that time, reports have revealed that she succumbed to a cardiac arrest.

Published on Apr 13, 2024  |  04:34 PM IST |  61.2K
Know All About Kris Jenner's Sister Karen Houghton
Karen Houghton (PC: Getty Images)

Trigger Warning: This article contains mention of death.

Kris Jenner recently grieved the passing of her younger sister, Karen Houghton, who died on March 19 at the age of 65. Although the exact reason for her death was not initially disclosed, it has since been reported that she died from cardiac arrest. Approximately a month later, TMZ obtained a death certificate indicating that the primary cause of death was cardiac arrhythmia, with Type 2 diabetes listed as a secondary contributing factor.

Besides that, Karen Houghton was also diagnosed with bipolar disorder as mentioned in the document. On Instagram, Kris Jenner announced the “unexpected” loss with a heartfelt note for her younger family member last month. The Kardashians star added a bunch of throwback pictures remembering the late Houghton. 

“She was the sweetest, kindest, the most sensitive and vulnerable and so so funny. She always felt grateful and thankful for her life and treasured her family and friends and especially her beautiful daughter,” Keeping Up with the Kardashians alum noted in the caption.

The mother of six expressed her concern for what their mother Mary Jo Campbell and Houghton’s daughter Natalie might be going through during this difficult time. Reflecting on her “beautiful inside and out” sister Karen's sudden demise, Jenner emphasized the preciousness of life. 

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Here’s all we know about Kris Jenner’s sister Karen Houghton

Karen Houghton chose a private life

Born to parents, Mary Jo Campbell and Robert True Houghton, Karen Houghton refrained from publicizing her life unlike her elder sister Kris Jenner. She started her career as a flight attendant and later switched her profession to a part-time nurse. Houghton also published two cookbooks, Naturally Gourmet and Twizzel Street, per Style. 

Karen Houghton and Kris Jenner's rocky relationship

Kris Jenner’s note for Houghton’s passing hinted at the close-knit bond the siblings shared since childhood. However, their relationship endured a series of ups and downs. Following their parents’ split, the sisters grew up in California with their mother Mary Jo.

In her 2011 memoir, Kris Jenner noted the tough times she and Karen went through. “We loved each other, and we were there for each other through thick and thin, and to this day, we are a part of each other’s lives,” Jenner wrote of her younger sister. 

In 2013, Houghton threw shade at Kim Kardashian’s baby shower which rocked things between the sisters. She also posted a Facebook update in 2014 reportedly asking her friends for prayers for her “crazy” sister.

In a later interview, Houghton complained about not being in touch with the A-lister. Houghton told RadarOnline, “And it hurts me. I don’t care how much money you have or who you are, you’re my sister. I’m not afraid of her. … I can’t get to her anymore. But I guess it’s the money.”


Karen Houghton got herself a 5-hour facelift to resemble her celebrity sibling Kris Jenner in 2016. Three years later, the sisters seemed to have mended their estranged relationship as Christmas family photos surfaced in 2019.  

Karen Houghton’s marriage and family

Karen Houghton got married to Mark Zettel in 1996. Six years later, the couple divorced while sharing an only child Natalie Zettel. Now 26, Natalie is engaged to fiancé Noah Warren following their engagement ceremony in July 2022.

Natalie Zettel’s social media shows she is a model and entrepreneur. She owns a clothing rental subscription service brand, Styles by Nat. 

ALSO READ: Who Was Karen Houghton? Exploring Life Of Kris Jenner's Sister Who Has Reportedly Passed Away At 65

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