The Info List - Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr.

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JOSEPH PATRICK KENNEDY SR. (September 6, 1888 – November 18, 1969) was an American businessman, investor, and politician known for his high-profile positions in United States politics. Kennedy was married to Rose Kennedy
Rose Kennedy
. Three of their nine children attained distinguished political positions: President John F. Kennedy
John F. Kennedy
(1917–1963), Attorney General and Senator Robert F. Kennedy
Robert F. Kennedy
(1925–1968), and longtime Senator Edward M. "Ted" Kennedy (1932–2009). He was a leading member of the Democratic Party and of the Irish Catholic community. He was appointed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin D. Roosevelt
to be the first chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
(SEC), and later directed the Maritime Commission . Kennedy served as the United States Ambassador to the United Kingdom from 1938 until late 1940, when he annoyed Roosevelt by his pessimism about Britain's survival.

Born to a political family in East Boston
, Massachusetts, Kennedy embarked on a career in business and investing, first making a large fortune as a stock market and commodity investor, and market manipulator. Employing tactics no longer legal on Wall Street, Kennedy profited from the stock market crash of 1929, and thrived during the Great Depression
Great Depression
caused by the unscrupulous activities of "investors" such as himself. Later, Kennedy rolled over the profits by investing in real estate and a wide range of business industries across the United States. During World War I
World War I
, he was an assistant general manager of a Boston
area Bethlehem Steel
Bethlehem Steel
shipyard, through which he developed a friendship with Franklin D. Roosevelt, then Assistant Secretary of the Navy
Secretary of the Navy
. In the 1920s Kennedy made huge profits from reorganizing and refinancing several Hollywood
studios, ultimately merging several acquisitions into Radio-Keith-Orpheum
(RKO) studios.

During Prohibition
, Kennedy gained a reputation as an importer of illegal liquor from overseas. After Prohibition
ended in 1933, Kennedy consolidated an even larger fortune when he traveled to Scotland
with the President's son James Roosevelt
James Roosevelt
to negotiate contracts for distribution rights for Scotch whisky
Scotch whisky
. His company, Somerset Importers, became the exclusive American agent for Gordon\'s Gin and Dewar\'s Scotch. In addition, Kennedy purchased spirits-importation rights from Schenley Industries , a firm in Canada
. He owned the largest office building in the country, Chicago
's Merchandise Mart , giving his family an important base in that city and an alliance with the Irish-American political leadership there.

In 1941, Kennedy allowed surgeons to perform a lobotomy on his daughter Rosemary . Various reasons for the operation have been given, but it left her permanently incapacitated.

His term as ambassador and political ambitions ended abruptly during the Battle of Britain
Battle of Britain
in November 1940, with the publishing of his controversial remarks suggesting that "Democracy is finished in England. It may be here, ." Kennedy resigned under pressure shortly afterwards. In later years, Kennedy worked behind the scenes to continue building the financial and political fortunes of the Kennedy family . After a disabling stroke in 1961, Kennedy developed aphasia and lost all power of speech, but remained mentally intact. He was confined to a wheelchair until his death in 1969.


* 1 Background and education

* 2 Marriage and family

* 2.1 Rosemary\'s lobotomy

* 3 Business career

* 3.1 Early ventures * 3.2 Wall Street and stock market investments * 3.3 1929 Wall Street Crash * 3.4 Investments in entertainment, shipping, and real estate

* 4 SEC Chairman (1932–1935) * 5 Disputes with Father Charles Coughlin * 6 Ambassador to the United Kingdom (1938–1940)

* 7 Reduced influence

* 7.1 Claims of anti-Semitism

* 8 Political alliances

* 8.1 Alliance with Senator McCarthy * 8.2 Presidential ambitions for family

* 9 Illness and death

* 10 In popular culture

* 10.1 Movies and television

* 11 Ancestry * 12 See also * 13 References * 14 Bibliography * 15 External links


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Kennedy yearbook photo from Boston
Latin School

Joseph Patrick Kennedy was born in Boston, Massachusetts
. He was the elder son of businessman and politician Patrick Joseph "P. J." Kennedy and Mary Augusta Hickey. He had a younger brother Francis (who died young), and two younger sisters, Mary and Margaret. All four of Joe's grandparents had immigrated to Massachusetts
in the 1840s to escape the Irish famine . He was born into a highly sectarian society, where Irish Catholics were excluded by upper-class Boston
Brahmins . Boston Irish thus became active in the Democratic Party , which included P. J. and numerous relatives. P. J. Kennedy
P. J. Kennedy
was an accomplished businessman which enabled him to provide a comfortable lifestyle for family, as a result of his successful saloon business, investment ventures, and an influential role in local politics. His mother encouraged Joe to attend the Boston
Latin School , where Kennedy was a below average scholar but was popular among his classmates, winning election as class president and playing on the school baseball team.

Kennedy followed in the footsteps of older cousins by attending Harvard College
Harvard College
. He focused on becoming a social leader, working energetically to gain admittance to the prestigious Hasty Pudding Club . While at Harvard he joined the Delta Upsilon
Delta Upsilon
International fraternity and played on the baseball team, but was blackballed from the Porcellian Club
Porcellian Club

In 1937, he received an honorary degree in Doctor of Laws from Oglethorpe University .


On October 7, 1914, Kennedy married Rose Elizabeth Fitzgerald , the eldest daughter of Boston
Mayor John F. "Honey Fitz" Fitzgerald (political rival of P. J.) and Mary Josephine "Josie" Hannon. The marriage joined two of the city's most prominent political families.

The couple had nine children. As Kennedy's business success expanded, he and his family kept homes in the Boston
area, suburban New York City, Hyannis Port, Massachusetts
, and Palm Beach, Florida
Palm Beach, Florida


Joseph Patrick "Joe" Kennedy Jr. July 25, 1915 August 12, 1944 Never married and had no children, but was once engaged to Athalia Ponsell

John Fitzgerald "Jack" Kennedy May 29, 1917 November 22, 1963 Married in 1953, to Jacqueline Lee Bouvier , had four children

Rose Marie "Rosemary" Kennedy September 13, 1918 January 7, 2005 Never married and had no children

Kathleen Agnes "Kick" Kennedy February 20, 1920 May 13, 1948 Married in 1944, to William John Robert "Billy" Cavendish , never had children

Eunice Mary Kennedy July 10, 1921 August 11, 2009 Married in 1953, to Robert Sargent "Sarge" Shriver Jr. , had five children

Patricia Helen "Pat" Kennedy May 6, 1924 September 17, 2006 Married in 1954, to English actor Peter Sydney Ernest Lawford , had four children; divorced in 1966

Robert Francis "Bobby" Kennedy November 20, 1925 June 6, 1968 Married in 1950, to Ethel Skakel , had eleven children

Jean Ann Kennedy February 20, 1928

Married in 1956, to Stephen Edward Smith , had two sons and adopted two daughters

Edward Moore "Ted" Kennedy February 22, 1932 August 25, 2009 Married in 1958, to Joan Bennett , had three children; divorced in 1982. Remarried in 1992 to Victoria Reggie ; had no children


See also: Rosemary Kennedy § Lobotomy
The family at their home in Hyannis Port, Massachusetts
, 1931. Rosemary Kennedy is seated on the far right.

Kennedy requested that surgeons perform a lobotomy (one of the earliest in the U.S.) on his eldest daughter Rosemary in 1941. Various reasons for the operation have been given, but it left her permanently incapacitated.

She died in 2005 at age 86. Rosemary's name "was never mentioned in the house" according to Janet Des Rosiers, Kennedy's secretary and mistress of nine years. Dr. Bertram S. Brown , director of the National Institute of Mental Health
National Institute of Mental Health
, said later that Joseph called his daughter Rosemary mentally retarded rather than mentally ill in order to protect John's reputation for a presidential run, and that the family's "lack of support for mental illness is part of a lifelong family denial of what was really so".


Kennedy pursued a career in business and investing upon graduation from college. In his mid to late twenties, he made a large fortune as a stock market and commodity investor and reinvesting in real estate and a wide range of business industries. He never built a significant business from scratch, but his timing as both buyer and seller was usually excellent. Sometimes he made use of inside information in ways which were legal at the time but were later outlawed. In fact, it was Kennedy who later assisted in outlawing the very manipulations he had once engaged in, in the course of his role on the SEC , after President Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin D. Roosevelt
had appointed him as its first chairman.

After Kennedy's 1969 death and only a week before his own death in 1973, Brooklyn Mafia boss Frank Costello
Frank Costello
claimed to an author/collaborator that he had been associated with Kennedy in bootlegging during Prohibition
. To this day, as Kennedy's most recent and most thorough biographer David Nasaw
David Nasaw
asserts, no credible evidence has been found linking Joseph Kennedy to bootlegging activities. When Fortune magazine published its first list of the richest people in the United States in 1957, it placed him in the $200–400 million group ($1.71 billion–3.41 billion today), meaning it estimated him to be between the ninth and sixteenth richest person in the United States.


Kennedy claimed to be America's youngest bank president, pictured here at age 25 in 1914.

After graduating from Harvard in 1912 with an A.B. in economics , he took his first job as a state-employed bank examiner, allowing him to learn a great deal about the banking industry. In 1913, the Columbia Trust Bank , in which his father held a significant share, was under threat of takeover. Kennedy, borrowing $45,000 ($1,090,455 today) from family and friends, bought back control and at age 25 was rewarded by being elected the bank's president. Kennedy told the press he was "the youngest" bank president in America.

Kennedy emerged as a highly successful entrepreneur with an eye for value. For example, as a real estate investor, he turned a handsome profit from ownership of Old Colony Realty Associates, Inc., which bought distressed real estate.

During World War I
World War I
, President Woodrow Wilson
Woodrow Wilson
asked the Intercontinental Rubber Company—owned by Bernard Baruch
Bernard Baruch
, J. P. Morgan and Kennedy—to grow guayule . Guayule
is a plant that produces latex that can be used to make rubber. Many feared the German navy might blockade rubber shipments from Asia. As a result, Intercontinental established the Continental Farm and the little town of Continental in southeastern Arizona
in 1916. The guayule growing operations didn't last and in 1922 the Continental Farm was sold to Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands
Wilhelmina of the Netherlands
, who rented the fields to cotton farmers for several years.

Although skeptical of American involvement in the war, Kennedy sought to participate in war-time production as an assistant general-manager of a major Bethlehem Steel
Bethlehem Steel
shipyard in Quincy, Massachusetts
. There he oversaw the production of transports and warships. Through this job, he became acquainted with Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Franklin Delano Roosevelt
Franklin Delano Roosevelt


In 1919, Kennedy joined the prominent stock brokerage firm of Hayden, Stone "> Kennedy, along with fifteen others, signed a telegram warning that the release of Sadie Thompson
Sadie Thompson
starring Gloria Swanson would jeopardize the ability of the film industry to censor itself. Swanson needed financing for her film production company, and Kennedy began a three-year affair when he met her for lunch in New York after the film's release.

Kennedy made huge profits from reorganizing and refinancing several Hollywood
film studios. Film production in the U.S. was much more decentralized than it is today, with many different movie studios producing film product. One small studio was Film Booking Offices of America (or FBO), which specialized in Westerns produced cheaply. Its owner was in financial trouble and asked Kennedy to help find a new owner. Kennedy formed his own group of investors and bought it for $1.5 million (about $20.5 million today).

Kennedy moved to Hollywood
in March 1926 to focus on running film studios. Film studios were then permitted to own exhibition companies which were necessary to get their films on local screens. With that in mind, in a hostile buyout , he acquired the Keith-Albee-Orpheum Theaters Corporation (KAO), which had more than 700 vaudeville theaters across the United States that had begun showing movies. He later purchased another production studio called Pathe Exchange, and merged those two entities with Cecil B. DeMille
Cecil B. DeMille
's Producers Distributing Corporation in March 1927.

In August 1928, he unsuccessfully tried to run First National Pictures. In October 1928, he formally merged his film companies FBO and KAO to form Radio-Keith-Orpheum
(RKO) and made a large amount of money in the process. Then, keen to buy the Pantages Theatre chain, which had 63 profitable theaters, Kennedy made an offer of $8 million ($112 million today). It was declined. He then stopped distributing his movies to Pantages. Still, Alexander Pantages declined to sell. However, when Pantages was later charged and tried for rape, his reputation took a battering and he accepted Kennedy's revised offer of $3.5 million ($48.8 million today). Pantages, who claimed that Kennedy had "set him up", was later found not guilty at a second trial. James Roosevelt
James Roosevelt
, son of President Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin D. Roosevelt
, helped Kennedy start his liquor business after Prohibition.

It is estimated that Kennedy made over $5 million ($69.7 million today) from his investments in Hollywood. During his three-year affair with film star Gloria Swanson
Gloria Swanson
, he arranged the financing for her films The Love of Sunya (1927) and the ill-fated Queen Kelly (1928). The duo also used Hollywood's famous "body sculptor", masseuse Sylvia of Hollywood
. Their relationship ended when Swanson discovered that an expensive gift from Joseph had been charged to her account.

A recurring story about Kennedy alleges that he made money in bootlegging . Although there is no hard evidence of this, Kennedy did have extensive investments in the legal importation of spirits after Prohibition
ended. The "bootlegging" story itself may be traceable to Canadian distiller Samuel Bronfman and to New England
New England
bootlegger Danny Walsh and his crime syndicate, which did in fact smuggle spirits across the Canada–US border during this period. Post-Prohibition, Bronfman had a bitter rivalry with Kennedy in acquiring North American liquor distribution rights.

At the start of the Franklin Roosevelt administration, Kennedy and Congressman James Roosevelt
James Roosevelt
II founded Somerset Importers, an entity that acted as the exclusive American agent for Haig "> Joseph and Rose Kennedy
Rose Kennedy
as they arrive for dinner at The Colony Restaurant in Manhattan, November 1, 1940. At the time, Joseph Kennedy was the US Ambassador to the UK.

In 1938, Roosevelt appointed Kennedy as the United States Ambassador to the Court of St. James\'s (UK ). Kennedy hugely enjoyed his leadership position in London high society, which stood in stark contrast to his relative outsider status in Boston. On May 6, 1944, his daughter Kathleen married William "Billy" Cavendish , the elder son of the Duke of Devonshire , who was the head of one of England's grandest aristocratic families.

Kennedy rejected the beliefs of the politician Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill
that any compromise with Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany
was impossible. Instead, Kennedy supported Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain
Neville Chamberlain
's apparent policy of appeasement . Throughout 1938, while the Nazi persecution of the Jews in Germany intensified, Kennedy attempted to arrange a meeting with Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler
. Shortly before the Nazi aerial bombing of British cities began in September 1940, Kennedy once again sought a personal meeting with Hitler without the approval of the U. S. Department of State, in order to "to bring about a better understanding between the United States and Germany".

Kennedy also argued strongly against providing military and economic aid to the United Kingdom. "Democracy is finished in England. It may be here," he stated in the Boston
Sunday Globe of November 10, 1940. With German troops having overrun Poland
, Denmark
, Norway
, Belgium , the Netherlands
, Luxembourg
, and France
, and with daily bombings on Great Britain, Kennedy unambiguously and repeatedly stated his belief that this war was not about saving democracy from National Socialism (Nazism) or from Fascism. In an interview with two newspaper journalists, Louis M. Lyons , of The Boston
Globe , and Ralph Coghlan, of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
, Kennedy said:

It's all a question of what we do with the next six months. The whole reason for aiding England is to give us time ... As long as she is in there, we have time to prepare. It isn't that fighting for democracy. That's the bunk. She's fighting for self-preservation, just as we will if it comes to us..... I know more about the European situation than anybody else, and it's up to me to see that the country gets it.

His views were becoming inconsistent and increasingly isolationist; British MP Josiah Wedgwood, 1st Baron Wedgwood
Josiah Wedgwood, 1st Baron Wedgwood
, who had himself opposed the British Government's earlier appeasement policy, said of Kennedy:

We have a rich man, untrained in diplomacy, unlearned in history and politics, who is a great publicity seeker and who apparently is ambitious to be the first Catholic president of the U.S.

In British government circles during the Blitz , Kennedy was widely disparaged as a defeatist. He retreated to the countryside during the bombings of London by German aircraft, at a time when the British Royal Family, Prime Minister, government ministers, and other ambassadors chose to stay in London. (This prompted a member of Britain's Foreign Office to say, "I thought my daffodils were yellow until I met Joe Kennedy.")

When the White House
White House
read his quotes it became clear that Kennedy was completely out of step with Roosevelt's policies. Kennedy returned home. Roosevelt urgently needed his support to hold the Catholic vote and invited him to spend the night at the White House. Kennedy agreed to make a nationwide radio speech to advocate Roosevelt's reelection. Roosevelt was pleased with the speech because, Nasaw says, it successfully "rallied reluctant Irish Catholic voters to his side, buttressed his claims that he was not going to take the nation into war, and emphasized that he alone had the experience to lead the nation in these difficult times." After Roosevelt was reelected, Kennedy submitted his resignation as ambassador.


Throughout the rest of the war, relations between Kennedy and the Roosevelt Administration remained tense (especially when Joe Jr. vocally opposed President Roosevelt's unprecedented nomination for a third term, which began in 1941). Kennedy may have wanted to run for president himself in 1940 or later. Having effectively removed himself from the national stage, Joe Sr. sat out World War II
World War II
on the sidelines. Kennedy stayed active in the smaller venues of rallying Irish-American and Roman Catholic Democrats to vote for Roosevelt's re-election for a fourth term in 1944. Former Ambassador Kennedy claimed to be eager to help the war effort, but as a result of his previous gaffes, he was neither trusted nor invited to do so.

Due to his philanthropy and a close friendship with Francis Spellman , Archbishop of New York (later Cardinal), during this time, Joseph Kennedy was invested as a knight of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta , an honor which at that time he shared with just a few dozen Americans.

With his ambitions to achieve the White House
White House
no longer viable, Joe Kennedy held out great hope for his eldest son, Joseph P. Kennedy Jr., to seek the presidency. However, Joe Jr., who had become a U.S. Navy bomber pilot, was killed over the English Channel
English Channel
while undertaking Operation Aphrodite
Operation Aphrodite
, a high-risk, new way to use heavy bombers to strike German missile sites in France, in 1944. The intention was to use remote-controlled aircraft from which the pilot had bailed out after a piloted take-off. Joe Jr's bomber exploded before he could bail out.

After grieving over his dead son, Joe Sr. then turned his attention to his second son, John, for a run for the presidency. After serving as a member of the House of Representatives beginning in 1946, and then a U.S. Senator beginning in 1952, the younger Kennedy entered the Presidential election in 1960 , and won it.


Kennedy's friend Charles Lindbergh
Charles Lindbergh
was an antiwar spokesman for the America First Committee
America First Committee

According to Harvey Klemmer, who served as one of Kennedy's embassy aides, Kennedy habitually referred to Jews as "kikes or sheenies". Kennedy allegedly told Klemmer that " individual Jews are all right, Harvey, but as a race they stink. They spoil everything they touch." When Klemmer returned from a trip to Germany and reported the pattern of vandalism and assaults on Jews by Nazis, Kennedy responded, "Well, they brought it on themselves."

On June 13, 1938, Kennedy met with Herbert von Dirksen , the German ambassador to the United Kingdom, in London, who claimed upon his return to Berlin that Kennedy had told him that "it was not so much the fact that we want to get rid of the Jews that was so harmful to us, but rather the loud clamor with which we accompanied this purpose. himself fully understood our Jewish policy." Kennedy's main concern with such violent acts against German Jews as Kristallnacht
was that they generated bad publicity in the West for the Nazi regime, a concern that he communicated in a letter to Charles Lindbergh
Charles Lindbergh

Kennedy had a close friendship with Viscountess Astor , (née Nancy Langhorne), wife of Waldorf Astor , 2nd Viscount Astor of the Astor family . The correspondence between them is reportedly replete with anti-Semitic statements. According to Edward Renehan:

As fiercely anti-Communist as they were anti-Semitic, Kennedy and Astor looked upon Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler
as a welcome solution to both of these "world problems" (Nancy's phrase)..... Kennedy replied that he expected the "Jew media" in the United States to become a problem, that "Jewish pundits in New York and Los Angeles" were already making noises contrived to "set a match to the fuse of the world".

By August 1940, Kennedy worried that a third term as the President for Roosevelt would mean war. As Leamer reports, "Joe believed that Roosevelt, Churchill, the Jews, and their allies would manipulate America into approaching Armageddon
." Nevertheless, Kennedy supported Roosevelt's third term in return for Roosevelt's promise to support Joseph Kennedy Jr. in a run for Governor of Massachusetts
in 1942. However, even during the darkest months of World War II, Kennedy remained "more wary of" prominent American Jews, such as Associate Justice Felix Frankfurter
Felix Frankfurter
, than he was of Hitler.

Kennedy told the reporter Joe Dinneen:

It is true that I have a low opinion of some Jews in public office and in private life. That does not mean that I..... believe they should be wiped off the face of the Earth..... Jews who take an unfair advantage of the fact that theirs is a persecuted race do not help much..... Publicizing unjust attacks upon the Jews may help to cure the injustice, but continually publicizing the whole problem only serves to keep it alive in the public mind.


Kennedy used his wealth and connections to build a national network of supporters that became the base for his sons' political careers. He especially concentrated on the Irish American
Irish American
community in large cities, particularly Boston, New York, Chicago, Pittsburgh
and several New Jersey
New Jersey
cities. Kennedy also used Arthur Krock of The New York Times , America's most influential political columnist, for decades as a paid speechwriter and political advisor.

A political conservative ( John F. Kennedy
John F. Kennedy
once described his father as being to "the right of Herbert Hoover
Herbert Hoover
"), Kennedy supported Richard Nixon
Richard Nixon
, who had entered Congress with John in 1947. In 1960 Kennedy approached Nixon, praised his anti-Communism, and said "Dick, if my boy can't make it, I'm for you" for the presidential election that year.


Kennedy's close ties with Republican (GOP) Senator Joseph McCarthy strengthened his family's position among Irish Catholics, but weakened it among liberals who strongly opposed McCarthy. Even before McCarthy became famous in 1950, Kennedy had forged close ties with the Republican Senator. Kennedy often brought him to his family compound at Hyannis Port as a weekend house guest in the late 1940s. McCarthy at one point dated Patricia Kennedy .

When McCarthy became a dominant voice of anti-Communism starting in 1950, Kennedy contributed thousands of dollars to McCarthy, and became one of his major supporters. In the Senate race of 1952, Kennedy apparently worked a deal so that McCarthy, a Republican, would not make campaign speeches for the GOP ticket in Massachusetts. In return, Congressman John F. Kennedy
John F. Kennedy
, running for the Senate seat, would not give any anti-McCarthy speeches that his liberal supporters wanted to hear.

In 1953 at Kennedy's urging McCarthy hired Robert Kennedy
Robert Kennedy
(age 27) as a senior staff member of the Senate\'s investigations subcommittee , which McCarthy chaired. In 1954, when the Senate was threatening to condemn McCarthy, Senator John Kennedy faced a dilemma. "How could I demand that Joe McCarthy be censured for things he did when my own brother was on his staff?" asked JFK.

By 1954 Robert F. Kennedy
Robert F. Kennedy
and McCarthy's chief aide Roy Cohn had had a falling out, and Robert no longer worked for McCarthy. John Kennedy had a speech drafted calling for the censure of McCarthy but he never delivered it. When the Senate voted to censure McCarthy on December 2, 1954, Senator Kennedy was in the hospital and never indicated how he would cast his vote. Joe Kennedy strongly supported McCarthy to the end.


Kennedy wanted his eldest son, Joe Jr., to become president, but after Joe Jr.'s death in August 1944, he became determined to make his second son, John, president.

Kennedy was consigned to the political shadows after his remarks during World War II
World War II
("Democracy is finished"), and he remained an intensely controversial figure among U.S. citizens because of his suspect business credentials, his Roman Catholicism, his opposition to Roosevelt's foreign policy, and his support for Joseph McCarthy. As a result, his presence in John F. Kennedy's presidential campaign had to be downplayed.

However, Kennedy still drove the campaign behind the scenes. He played a central role in planning strategy, fundraising, and coalition and alliance building. Kennedy almost oversaw the entire operation, supervising spending, helping to select advertising agencies, phoning local and state party leaders, newsmen, and business leaders.

Kennedy connections and influence were turned directly into political capital for the senatorial and presidential campaigns of sons John, Robert and Ted. Historian Richard J. Whalen describes Kennedy's influence on John Kennedy's policy decisions in his biography of Joe. Joe was influential in creating the Kennedy Cabinet ( Robert Kennedy
Robert Kennedy
as Attorney General although he had never argued or tried a case, for example). However, in 1961, Joe Kennedy suffered a stroke that placed even more limitations on his influence in his sons' political careers. Kennedy expanded the Kennedy Compound
Kennedy Compound
, which continues as a major center of family get-togethers.

When John Kennedy was asked about the level of involvement and influence that his father had held in his razor-thin presidential victory, he would joke that on the eve before the election his father had asked him the exact number of votes he would need to win: there was no way he was paying "for a landslide". Kennedy was one of four fathers (the other three being George Tryon Harding , Nathaniel Fillmore , and George Herbert Walker Bush ) to live through the entire presidency of a son.


Joseph Kennedy and family celebrate his birthday in Hyannis Port in 1963.

Kennedy suffered a stroke on December 19, 1961, when he was 73. He survived but was left paralyzed on his right side. Thereafter, he suffered from aphasia , severely affecting his ability to speak. He however remained mentally alert and regained certain functions with therapy and began walking with a cane. His speech also showed some improvement. Eventually he was forced into a wheelchair from excessive muscular weakness. In 1964, Kennedy was taken to The Institutes for the Achievement of Human Potential in Philadelphia, a medical and rehabilitative center for those who have experienced brain injury.

Kennedy's final public appearance was with his wife and his son Ted Kennedy in a filmed message to the country following the death of his son Robert. He died at home in Hyannis Port on November 18, 1969, two months after his 81st birthday, having outlived three of his four sons and one of his five daughters. He was buried at Holyhood Cemetery in Brookline, Massachusetts
. Kennedy's widow, Rose, was buried next to him following her death in 1995, as was their daughter, Rosemary, in 2005.


Kennedy plays a significant role as a character in Winston\'s War , Michael Dobbs
Michael Dobbs
' fictionalized account of the rise of Winston Churchill. In Richard Condon 's thriller Winter Kills
Winter Kills
, Pa Keegan is a fictionalized version of Kennedy and is portrayed by John Huston
John Huston
in the film version of that novel .

In the alternate history novel Fatherland by Robert Harris set in 1964, the senior Kennedy—not his son John F. Kennedy—is president of the United States and about to arrive in Berlin to conclude a treaty with Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler

A fictionalized version of Joe Kennedy appears in the fifth season of the show Boardwalk Empire
Boardwalk Empire
. He is portrayed by Matt Letscher .


Kennedy has been portrayed by:

* Stephen Elliott in the 1977 movie Young Joe, the Forgotten Kennedy , * E. G. Marshall
E. G. Marshall
in the 1983 miniseries Kennedy , * Lloyd Nolan in the 1985 film Prince Jack * Barry Morse
Barry Morse
in the 1987 miniseries Hoover vs. The Kennedys * William Petersen
William Petersen
in the 1990 miniseries The Kennedys of Massachusetts, * Josef Sommer in the second episode "The Kennedy Years" of the 1991 miniseries A Woman Named Jackie
A Woman Named Jackie
* Terry Kinney in the 1993 TV miniseries JFK: Reckless Youth , * Jan Kohout in the 1994 TV movie Fatherland , * Irish actor Dan O\'Herlihy in the 1998 movie The Rat Pack , * Tom Skerritt
Tom Skerritt
in the 2000 TV movie Jackie Bouvier Kennedy Onassis, * Tom Wilkinson
Tom Wilkinson
in the 2011 miniseries The Kennedys . * William Hope in the 2012 Upstairs, Downstairs episode "The Love That Pays the Price". * Matt Letscher in the HBO series Boardwalk Empire
Boardwalk Empire
. * Tom Wilkinson
Tom Wilkinson
in the 2017 miniseries The Kennedys: After Camelot .



8. James Kennedy Sr.

4. Patrick Kennedy

9. Maria Maiden

2. P. J. Kennedy
P. J. Kennedy

10. Phillip Murphy

5. Bridget Murphy

11. Mary Barron


12. Michael Hickey

6. James Hickey

13. Catherine Hassett

3. Mary Augusta Hickey

14. Patrick Field

7. Margaret Martha Field

15. Mary Sheehy


* Biography portal * Massachusetts
portal * Politics portal

* Kennedy family
Kennedy family
* Kennedy family
Kennedy family
tree * Kennedy Curse


* ^ "Joseph P Kennedy", John F. Kennedy
John F. Kennedy
Presidential Library and Museum . Retrieved January 7, 2012. * ^ A B Richard J. Whalen, The Founding Father, 1964. * ^ A B Shorter, Edward. The Kennedy Family and the History of Mental Retardation. Temple University Press via Amazon.com Look Inside. pp. 32–33. ISBN 1566397839 . * ^ A B C Block, Jennie Weiss (2002). Copious hosting: a theology of access for people with disabilities. Continuum International Publishing Group. p. 56. * ^ A B Murawski, Wendy W.; Spencer, Sally (2011). Collaborate, Communicate, and Differentiate!: How to Increase Student Learning in Today’s Diverse Schools. Corwin Press. p. 3. * ^ A B Boston
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* Joseph P. Kennedy Sr. on IMDb
* Joe Kennedy\'s