- NAME: Joseph P. Kennedy
- OCCUPATION: Business Leader, Diplomat
- BIRTH DATE: September 06, 1888
- DEATH DATE: November 18, 1969
- EDUCATION: Harvard University
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Boston, Massachusetts
- PLACE OF DEATH: Hyannis Port, Massachusetts
- AKA: Joseph P. Kennedy
- Full Name: Joseph Patrick Kennedy
- AKA: Joe Kennedy
- AKA: JPK
Best Known For
Joseph P. Kennedy is best known as the father of three political leaders: President John F. Kennedy, U.S. Representative Ted Kennedy and Robert Kennedy, who served as a U.S. senator and attorney general.
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Born on September 6, 1888, in Boston, Massachusetts, Joseph P. Kennedy is best known for being the father of three political leaders: President John F. Kennedy, U.S. Representative Ted Kennedy and Robert Kennedy, who served as a U.S. senator and attorney general. Joseph Kennedy became a bank president by age 25,
"We don't want any losers around. In this family, we want winners!"
"Democracy is finished in England. It may be here."
also holding positions as a shipyard manager and movie studio owner. By age 30, he was a millionaire. In 1937, Kennedy became the first Irish-American ambassador to Britain, serving in that position until 1940. He died in his home state on November 18, 1969.
Born on September 6, 1888, to an Irish Catholic family in Boston, Massachusetts, Joseph Patrick Kennedy overcame the class prejudices of the era and enrolled at Harvard University. He graduated from the school in 1912, and, by the age of 25, had become president of a bank. He also found work as a shipyard manager around this time, and became known as a large contributor to the Democratic Party.
In 1914, Joseph P. Kennedy married Rose Fitzgerald; the couple would eventually raise four sons, Joseph Patrick "Joe" Jr. (born in 1915), John Fitzgerald (born in 1917), Robert Francis (born in 1925) and Edward "Ted" Moore (born in 1932), and five daughters: Rose Marie "Rosemary" (born in 1918), Kathleen Agnes "Kick" (born in 1920), Eunice Mary (born in 1921), Patricia (born in 1924) and Jean Ann (born in 1928). The Kennedy children were encouraged to read The New York Times at an early age, and only national issues were discussed during dinner.
Always financially astute, brilliant and driven, Joseph Kennedy became a millionaire by the age of 30 through investments in the movie business and alcohol distribution. He ran a movie studio in the 1920s, during which time he had an affair with actress Gloria Swanson. Kennedy retired from stock trading at age 41, amassing enough capital to build million-dollar trust funds for each of his nine children.
In the 1932 presidential election, Joseph P. Kennedy supported Franklin D. Roosevelt, who, in turn, named Kennedy chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in 1934. Shortly thereafter, he was appointed as chairman of the U.S. Maritime Commission.
In 1937, Joseph Kennedy became the first Irish American to serve as the U.S. British ambassador, a position he held for three years thereafter; he resigned in 1940, convinced that Britain would be taken over by Nazi Germany and that America's only hope lay in staying out of the coming conflict. According to a November 1940 article in the Boston Sunday Globe, upon returning from England on the eve of World War II, Kennedy said, "Democracy is finished in England. It may be here." His controversial views earned him a reputation as an anti-Semite and appeaser of Hitler, in addition to perceptions that he was a womanizer and probably had ties to organized crime.
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There's no such thing as royalty in the United States, but if anyone has ever come close to that level, it's the Kennedy family. For 64 years, Washington had at least one Kennedy in public office. Descended from Irish Catholics who fled the potato famine, the family has a strong tradition in the Democratic party, the most prominent member being President John F. Kennedy. In addition to fame and political power, the Kennedy clan has had more than its fair share of tragedy—several members of the family have died in accidents and assassinations, in what's been called the "Kennedy curse."
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