Joseph Patrick Kennedy Sr. (September 6, 1888 – November 18, 1969) was a prominent American businessman, investor and politician. He is known for his own political prominence as well as that of his children and was the patriarch of the Irish-American Kennedy family .
Joseph Patrick Kennedy was the first of three surviving children born to Patrick Joseph "PJ" Kennedy and Mary Augusta Hickey on September 6, 1888. From an early age, he was exposed to his father's successful business and political career.
- Business Career
- New Dealer
- Political Alliances
- Death and Legacy
- See Also
- External Links
Kennedy made a large fortune as a stock market and commodity speculator and by investing in real estate and a wide range of 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 business information not available to the public, in ways which would later be made illegal as insider trading, but regulations were lighter in his era. He later became the Chairman of the SEC. When Fortunemagazine published its first list of the wealthiest people in the United States in 1957 it placed him in the $200-400 million category, meaning that it estimated him to be between the ninth and sixteenth richest person in the U.S. at that time.
Kennedy's first major involvement in a national political campaign was his support in 1932 for Franklin D. Roosevelt's bid for the Presidency. He donated, loaned, and raised a substantial amount of money for the campaign. Roosevelt rewarded him with an appointment as the inaugural Chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Kennedy's reforming work as SEC Chairman was widely praised on all sides, as investors realized the SEC was protecting their interests. His knowledge of the financial markets equipped him to identify areas requiring the attention of regulators. One of the crucial reforms was the requirement for companies to regularly file financial statements with the SEC which broke what some saw as an information monopoly maintained by the Morgan banking family. Kennedy left the SEC in 1935 to take over the Maritime Commission, which built on his wartime experience in running a major shipyard. Kennedy eventually resigned from the post, reportedly tired of dea...
Alliance with Joe McCarthy
Kennedy's close ties with Republican 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 from Wisconsin, often bringing him to his home in Hyannis Port as a weekend house guest. When McCarthy became a dominant voice of anti-Communism starting in 1950, Kennedy contributed thousands of dollars to McCarth...
Presidential ambitions for family
After World War II, Joe Kennedy concentrated his efforts on getting his sons elected to office. He 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 community in large cities, particularly Boston, New York, Chicago, Pittsburgh and several New Jersey cities. ; Joe Kennedy was consigned to the political shadows after his remarks during WWII that "Democracy is finished…,...
On December 19, 1961, at the age of 73, Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr. suffered a major stroke. He survived, but lost all power of speech, and was left paralyzed on his right side. As a result, he was confined to a wheelchair for the remainder of his life. He remained active and interested in his children's and grandchildren's lives. Despite being severely disabled from the stroke, Kennedy remained aware of the tragedies that befell his family until his own death, on November 18, 1969. Two months after his eighty-first birthday, Kennedy died at the family compound on Nantucket Sound in Hyannis Port, Massachusetts. The words of his longtime friend, Cardinal Cushing, best express Kennedy's importance in American life:
All links retrieved June 8, 2018. 1. Sidey, Hugh. The Dynasty The Kennedys The Time 100, June 14, 1999.
Nov 17, 2020 · Joseph Patrick "Joe" Kennedy, Sr. (September 6, 1888 – November 18, 1969) was a prominent American businessman and political figure, and the father of U.S. President John F. Kennedy and United States Senators Robert F. Kennedy and Ted Kennedy.
- "Joseph P. /Kennedy/", "Joe"
- September 06, 1888
Apr 17, 2017 · In 1928, Joseph Kennedy Sr. sold two of his small film studios, creating RKO Pictures, best known for allowing 24-year-old wunderkind Orson Welles to make Citizen Kane, the revered film chronicling the rise and fall of Charles Foster Kane, an illustrious yet treacherous American magnate.
- Kellen Perry
Joseph Kennedy Sr, the father of President John F. Kennedy and of two United States Senators. Learn about his life and history through facts and information collected by John F. Kennedy Museum. Photos included.
- Early Life
- Business Career
- Political Career
- Founding A Dynasty
Joseph Patrick Kennedy Sr. was born on September 6 1888 in Boston, Massachusetts, as the eldest of four children born to Patrick Joseph “P. J.” Kennedy, a local businessman and politician (then a Massachusetts State Representative) and his wife, Mary Augusta Hickey. Irish on both sides of his family, his paternal grandparents had migrated to Boston from Wexford in County Wexford, whilst his maternal grandparents had migrated from Rosscarbery in County Cork. Both had left Ireland during the Potato Famine. Despite being one of four children, Joe only grew up with two siblings, his two sisters – Mary and Margaret – as his younger brother, Francis (born March 11 1891) died in infancy on June 14 1982. Only the second member of his family (behind his father) to receive a formal education, Joseph P. Kennedy Sr., better known as just “Joe Kennedy”, attended the prestigious Boston Latin School, was a below-average student at best. However, he excelled at sports, particularly baseball (with h...
Having been quite close to his father – arguably the most prosperous Irish-American businessmen in all of Boston – Joe Kennedy, now in his mid-twenties, decided he wanted to pursue a business career.
When then-Governor of New York Franklin Delano Roosevelt ran for president in 1932, Joseph P. Kennedy Sr. was one of the many business elites who supported Roosevelt, mostly due to the poor handling of the Great Depression by President Hoover. During Roosevelt’s run, Kennedy raised, donated and loaned his campaign millions in today’s money, which ultimately helped him to win the presidency that year.
Joseph P. Kennedy Jr.
On October 7 1914, Joseph P. Kennedy Sr. married Rose Fitzgerald, the eldest daughter of Boston’s first Irish Catholic Mayor, John F. “Honey Fitz” Fitzgerald. Despite Joe’s many affairs, the marriage lasted until Joe’s death in 1969. Soon after the wedding, Rose fell pregnant and gave birth to a baby boy on July 25 1915. The couple named the child Joseph P. Kennedy Jr.in honor of the boy’s father, who despite only being 26 years old, was a self-made millionaire by today’s standards. Aside fro...
John F. Kennedy
With Joe Jr.’s death in 1944, Joe Sr.’s decades of work had been rendered pointless in an instant. A savvy businessman, Joseph P. Kennedy Sr. quickly came up with a backup plan: his second son, John. Though John had a reputation for being fairly mischievous, he had received much of the same education his older brother had. As such, Joe Sr.’s aspirations for Joe Jr. passed on to John. Returning home from his naval service during WWII, Joseph P. Kennedy Sr. began prepping his son to become the...
What do you think of Joseph P. Kennedy Sr.? Was he more influential as a businessman or the founder of a political dynasty? Tell me in the comments!