Brown - Dark
North End, Boston, Massachusetts
Place of Death
Hyannis Port, Massachusetts,
Cause of Death
Claim to Fame
Matriarch of famous Kennedy family, mother of JFK,
Profile Bio Text
Rose Elizabeth Fitzgerald Kennedy (July 22, 1890 – January 22, 1995) was an American philanthropist and socialite. She was the wife of businessman/politician Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr.. Their nine children included President John F. Kennedy, Senator Robert F. Kennedy, and longtime Senator Ted Kennedy.
Rose was born in the North End neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts. She was the eldest of six children born to Boston Mayor John F. Fitzgerald and Mary Josephine Hannon. Her siblings were Mary, Thomas, John Jr., Euncie, and Frederick.
As a young child, she lived in an Italianate/Mansard-style home in the Ashmont Hill section of Dorchester, Massachusetts and attended the local Girl's Latin School. The home later burned down, but a plaque at Welles Avenue and Harley Street proclaims "Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Square". The plaque was dedicated by her son, Senator Ted Kennedy, on Kennedy's 102nd birthday in 1992.
Kennedy studied at the convent school Kasteel Bloemendal in Vaals, The Netherlands, and graduated from Dorchester High School in 1906. She also attended the New England Conservatory in Boston where she studied piano. After being refused permission by her father to attend Wellesley College, Fitzgerald enrolled at the Manhattanville College of the Sacred Heart (as it was known at that time), an institution which did not grant degrees at the time. In 1908, Fitzgerald and her father embarked on a tour of Europe. She and "Honey Fitz" had a private audience with Pope St. Pius X at the Vatican.
Marriage and family life
On October 7, 1914, she married Joseph P. Kennedy after a courtship of more than seven years. He was the elder son of businessman/politician P. J. Kennedy (political rival of Honey Fitz) and Mary Augusta Hickey. They first lived in a home in Brookline, Massachusetts that is now the John Fitzgerald Kennedy National Historic Site, and later a 15-room vacation home at Hyannis Port on Cape Cod, which became the Kennedy family’s lasting base. They had nine children.
Joseph provided well for their family, but was unfaithful. His affairs included one with Gloria Swanson. While eight months pregnant with Kathleen, Rose temporarily went back to her parents, but returned to Joseph. In turning a blind eye to her husband's affairs, Rose depended heavily on medication. Ronald Kessler found records for prescription tranquilizers Seconal, Placidyl, Librium, and Dalmane to relieve Rose's nervousness and stress, and Lomotil, Bentyl, Librax and Tagamet for her stomach.
Kennedy was a devout Roman Catholic throughout her life. Even after her 100th birthday, she rarely missed Sunday Mass and maintained an "extremely prudish" exterior. Her strict beliefs often placed her at odds with her children.
Kennedy stated that she felt completely fulfilled as a full-time homemaker. In her 1974 autobiography, Times to Remember, she wrote, "I looked on child rearing not only as a work of love and a duty, but as a profession that was fully as interesting and challenging as any honorable profession in the world and one that demanded the best I could bring to it..... What greater aspiration and challenge are there for a mother than the hope of raising a great son or daughter?"
Dorchester High School
John F. "Honey Fitz" Fitzgerald
Mary Josephine Hannon
Has Detailed Data (New)
Rose Elizabeth Fitzgerald Kennedy (July 22, 1890 – January 22, 1995) was an American philanthropist and socialite. She was deeply embedded in the "lace curtain" Irish Catholic community in Boston, where her father was mayor. She was the wife of businessman and investor Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr., who was United States Ambassador to the Court of St James's. Their nine children included President John F. Kennedy, Senator Robert F. Kennedy, and longtime Senator Ted Kennedy.
Full Name at Birth
Rose Elizabeth Fitzgerald
Philanthropist And Socialite
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