Kennedy, Joseph Patrick

Kennedy, Joseph Patrick,

1888–1969, U.S. ambassador to Great Britain (1937–40), b. Boston, grad. Harvard, 1912. The founder of an American dynasty, he was the father of nine children, including John F. KennedyKennedy, John Fitzgerald,
1917–63, 35th President of the United States (1961–63), b. Brookline, Mass.; son of Joseph P. Kennedy. Early Life

While an undergraduate at Harvard (1936–40) he served briefly in London as secretary to his father, who was
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, Robert F. KennedyKennedy, Robert Francis,
1925–68, American politician, U.S. Attorney General (1961–64), b. Brookline, Mass., younger brother of President John F. Kennedy and son of Joseph P. Kennedy.

A graduate of Harvard (1948) and the Univ.
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, Edward M. KennedyKennedy, Ted
(Edward Moore Kennedy), 1932–2009, U.S. senator from Massachusetts (1962–2009), b. Boston, Mass., youngest son of Joseph P. Kennedy and the last survivor of brothers Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr., John F. Kennedy, and Robert F. Kennedy.
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, and Eunice Kennedy ShriverShriver, Eunice Mary Kennedy,
1921–2009, American philanthropist and advocate for the intellectually disabled, b. Brookline, Mass., grad. Stanford (1943); she was a daughter of Joseph P. Kennedy and a sister of President John F. Kennedy and Senators Robert F.
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. He engaged in banking, shipbuilding, investment banking, real estate, liquor distribution, and motion picture production and distribution before he served (1934–35) as the first chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission. He was (1936–37) head of the U.S. Maritime Commission until his appointment as ambassador. In London he supported the overtures of the ChamberlainChamberlain, Neville
(Arthur Neville Chamberlain), 1869–1940, British statesman; son of Joseph Chamberlain and half-brother of Sir Austen Chamberlain. The first half of his career was spent in business and, after 1911, in the city government of Birmingham, of which he
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 government to Hitler and was generally noninterventionist. He resigned as ambassador in Nov., 1940, remaining aggressively isolationist in his views. In his later years he continued to be successful in business (notably real estate) and devoted considerable time to philanthropic activities, especially the Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr., Memorial Foundation, dedicated to his eldest son, who died in World War II. He wrote I'm for Roosevelt (1936).

Kennedy's wife, Rose Elizabeth Fitzgerald Kennedy, 1890–1995, was the daughter of U.S. congressman and Boston mayor John Francis "Honey Fitz" Fitzgerald.


See A. Smith, ed., Hostage to Fortune: The Letters of Joseph P. Kennedy (2000); biographies by R. J. Whalen (1964), D. E. Koskoff (1974), and D. Nasaw (2012); C. Beauchamp, Joseph P. Kennedy Presents: His Hollywood Years (2009); J. F. Dinneen, The Kennedy Family (1960), and D. K. Goodwin, The Fitzgeralds and the Kennedys (1987).

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