San Francisco, California
London, United Kingdom
You could almost narrate a century of U.S. history through the story of Rose Kennedy’s life. At the time of her death in 1995, Rose’s 104 years in the political limelight spanned nearly half the American republic’s own life. Rose’s life seems more myth than fact—her father’s rise from tenement-poor second-generation Irish Catholic immigrant to congressman and mayor of Boston; her husband Joe’s accomplishments in Washington and Hollywood, the millions he made in business, and his notorious service as the ambassador to England. Then there are Rose’s nine lauded children, among them a president, three senators, a congressman, an attorney general, two World War II military heroes, and an ambassador. All the makings of a great American story are present in her family: pulling oneself up by one’s bootstraps, working for the common good, and garnering wealth, style, and influence. Barbara A. Perry, a leading expert on the Kennedy presidency, shows how this legend was part of Rose’s legacy, an image she advanced on behalf of her husband and children.
Barbara A. Perry is a Senior Fellow in presidential oral history at the University of Virginia’s Miller Center in Charlottesville. She is author of Jacqueline Kennedy: First Lady of the New Frontier.
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When & Where
The Filson Historical Society