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An 1868 illustration through Henry Doyle depicts family members saying farewell come emigrants leave Ireland.

Library the Congress

The Kennedy family members name to be not always synonymous with wealth, power, and politics. The family"s origins can be traced earlier to a young Irishman, Patrick Kennedy. Patrick to be the boy of a farmer of usually means. ~ the disastrous effects the The great Famine, Patrick left Ireland for the the United claims to seek far better opportunities. His battle to make a comfortable life because that himself and his household was echoed by his son and also later his grandson, profiling the family’s course to success. Patrick most likely would have never dreamed the his great-grandson would come to be the 35th chairman of the united States.


Patrick Joseph Kennedy (1823-1858)

Born in Dunganstown, county Wexford, Ireland, Patrick Kennedy adhered to a typical path of a young ireland male, during this time period. He was the boy of a farmer of usually means. With two larger brothers, Patrick stood small chance of inheriting the family members farmstead.These to be desperate times because that the Irish. Lot of the floor in Wexford to be owned by non-Irish residential or commercial property owners, Catholics were harassed by authorities, and illiteracy to be common. Younger males, particularly the 2nd or third-born like Patrick, were generally motivated to emigrate due to widespread poverty and also scarcity the resources. The economic and agricultural crisis, well-known as the good Famine, in addition pressured citizens to look for much better opportunities abroad. Traveling had its very own risks. It"s approximated that eight to nine thousand ireland immigrants lost their lives on the voyage to the United states alone. Kennedy might easily have been one of those casualties. Considerably much more fortunate than many other ireland immigrants, Patrick discovered work together a barrel maker at a local cooperage in Boston. In 1949 that married Bridget Murphy, who had additionally braved the transatlantic crossing, and also the couple had five children together. Their first son, John, shed his life come cholera, a an illness that regularly ran rampant in the dirty urban residences where plenty of immigrants were forced to live. Tragically in 1858, Patrick likewise succumbed come cholera. Bridget, Patrick Joseph "P.J.", the couple"s second son, and also the rest of the family were left come fend for themselves.

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Patrick Joseph "P.J." Kennedy, paternal grand to man F. Kennedy, circa 1900.

John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and also Museum, KFC 2706 (PC 245)

Patrick Joseph "P.J." Kennedy (1858-1929)

Left fatherless quickly after his birth, P.J."s upbringing to be left exclusively to his mother. Figured out to offer her son a far better life 보다 the one she endured, Bridget operated hard to get a tiny stationary business. At some point she broadened her organization into a grocery that proved quite successful, affording the Kennedy family additional financial stability. Young P.J. Was also able to attend spiritual Heart, a private Catholic college in Boston. In his adolescence, P.J. Ended up being a stevedore in ~ the Boston waterfront.P.J."s social rise began in the 1880s, when he gained a failing saloon. When his organization thrived, he invest in several other establishments and then ventured into liquor distribution. Alcohol usage was prevalent amongst Boston"s Irish and a an excellent deal the social activity was focused around saloons. Thus P.J. Play a pivotal function in his community, offering a sympathetic ear come the destitute and frequently lending economic assistance to those in need.
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Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr. (left), and also his father, Patrick Joseph "P.J." Kennedy, sit in the sand v Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr., at Nantasket Beach, Hull, Massachusetts; P.J. Kennedy holds his grandson in his lap. Circa, 1917. In the mid-1800s Boston"s employment opportunities were limited. Immigrants commonly left Boston for much more industrial cities throughout Massachusetts, choose Lowell, and elsewhere. Numerous Irish immigrants spent their entire savings top top the voyage over. Upon your arrival, numerous were penniless and also stranded in Boston. This led to a ballooning the Boston"s Irish populace and a climb in anti-Irish sentiment amongst Boston"s native-born citizenry. Thus, in his effort to escape the confines of the immigrant social class, P.J. Faced good challenges.As a result of his neighborhood popularity, P.J. Became active in Boston"s politics scene. Many thanks to his mainly sympathetic and often generous nature, the mustered a great deal of support in his corresponding Ward Two. In 1886, that was chosen into the Massachusetts house of Representatives. Later on he became a state senator, remaining energetic in Massachusetts politics until 1895. P.J. Ended up being the first of his family to acquire recognizable condition in American society.
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Joseph Patrick Kennedy Sr., circa 1914.

Underwood & Underwood Studio/John F. Kennedy Presidential Library.

Joseph Patrick Kennedy Sr.(1888-1969)

It was v this generation that the Kennedy household name became one associated with political prominence and economic success. Favor his father, Joseph to be born and also raised in Boston. However, P.J.’s fairly successful career allowed Joe to prosper up through a measure of comfort the P.J. Himself did not enjoy in his youth. As a result, Joe received his education at Boston’s finest, Protestant-affiliated schools. That attended high school at Boston Latin School and then earned his college degree at the esteemed Harvard University.Joe began his job in bank within 2 years of graduating university by becoming a bank examiner because that the commonwealth of Massachusetts. He was able to save his father’s failing bank, Colombia trust Company, indigenous a jae won takeover and also became that is president.On October 7, 1914, Joe married climbed Elizabeth Fitzgerald, the daughter the Boston"s mayor john F. "Honey Fitz" Fitzgerald, and also the 2 moved into their an initial home in ~ 83 Beals Street, Brookline, MA. As a gifted student, talented musician, speak of numerous languages, and also world traveler, Mrs. Kennedy was intelligent and also accomplished. She showed to be a specialized wife and became greatly invested in the increasing of the couple"s ripe children. During WWI, Joe presume the place of assistant manager at the Fore flow Shipyard in Quincy, MA. The facility was open "round the clock, developing warships and also transports. The occupational was demanding and Joe would later on say the he worked harder at the shipyard than everywhere else. Joe earned a better salary there than as soon as he was employed together a bank president. In 1920, Joe relocated his household into a bigger Brookline residence in a more affluent neighborhood. Together Joe built up wealth, he quickly invested it in the share market. His job in banking provided him v a solid understanding of the intricacies the finance and so he to be well suited for trading stocks. He controlled to for sure his wealth simply prior to the significant crash that led to the great Depression and invested in a number of lucrative ventures. Joe then gone into the human being of movie production, acquiring a reasonably minor movie studio dubbed Film Booking Office of America (FBO.) Film manufacturing earned that a handsome five million dollars, about 65 million in today’s currency. Complying with prohibition, Joe additionally acquired the sole distributing rights to Dewar’s Scotch and also Gordon’s Gin. He to be immensely successful as a businessman and able to administer the financial comfort, which he therefore greatly desired for his family. It to be after his organization career that he then entered the realm of politics.


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Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr. V sons Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. (left) and John F. Kennedy (right). Palm Beach, Florida, 1931.

Photograph through E. F. Foley in the john F. Kennedy Presidential Library and also Museum, Boston. KFC461P

As one avid support of Franklin D. Roosevelt during his presidential campaign, Joe was rewarded by Roosevelt upon his election. With his solid experience in the field of industry trading, Joe was appointed an initial head the the U.S. Securities and Exchange board of directors (SEC.) His career in the shipyards at Quincy resulted in a 2nd appointment , as the first head of the U.S. Maritime Commission. Roosevelt later appointed Kennedy to serve as the U.S. Ambassador to an excellent Britain, a place which he hosted from 1938 to late 1940. Despite Kennedy eventually fell the end of Roosevelt’s favor, his fame had been cemented. Joe later on used his substantial wealth and also connections to aid his sons, John, Robert, and Edward "Ted", as they gone after political office.


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President john F. Kennedy, main portrait.

Bachrach Studios

John Fitzgerald Kennedy(1917-1963)

John F. Kennedy to be born on might 29, 1917 in his family"s home at 83 Beals Street, Brookline, Massachusetts. Born into a comfortable life, John"s family members was not particularly wealthy during his first few years. However, Joseph P. Kennedy"s riches was easily skyrocketing. In spite of material comforts, John"s youth was not an easy one. He was often very ill and practically succumbed come scarlet heat in 1920. Transparent his entire life, he to be plagued by serious health and wellness issues.John to visit the Edward Devotion college (now known as the Florida Ruffin Ridley School,) a public school in Brookline, through component of his 3rd grade year. He was then enrolled in ~ the personal Dexter institution with his older brothers Joseph Jr. The decision come send the guys to private school, wherein they would be in closer proximity to kids of wealthy and also connected families, reflect Mr. And also Mrs. Kennedy"s desire to prepare the guys for functioning within America"s upstream social circles. When John and Joe Jr. Enrolled in ~ Dexter, "Kennedy" was the just Irish name detailed on the roster. The boys later on attended Choate (now well-known as Choate-Rosemary Hall,) a personal high institution in Wallingford, CT, and also then attend Harvard University. Man earned his Bachelor of Arts level in Government, with a focus in worldwide affairs. John was never an exemplary student in the traditional sense, however loved come read, had a bright intellect, and established himself as a gifted writer. Through his father’s encouragement, John published his last thesis Why England Slept. It concentrated on Britain"s delayed reaction come Nazi aggression in Europe. John had traveled throughout Europe once his father was ambassador to an excellent Britain and also so his writing was layered with countless insightful, firsthand accounts. Why England Slept verified immensely popular. Adhering to college, John gone into the U.S. Navy. No content with a workdesk job, he controlled to acquire himself assigned to action in the Pacific theater of WWII. Kennedy was the commander of Patrol Torpedo boat 109 (PT109.) when the boat was sunk through a Japanese destroyer, Kennedy rescued his crew and became a decorated battle hero. Meanwhile, Joe Jr. To be serving in the European theater of the battle as a marine pilot. Tragically, he lost his life paris a danger volunteer mission in 1944. Joseph Kennedy Sr. Had actually been organize both of his sons for political office. However, the weightiest of expectations often rested v Joe Jr. With Joe Jr."s death, John most likely felt a sense of responsibility to lug on his family"s dream. However, his very own passions and also interests were an extremely much pointing that in the same direction. After all, that had currently established fame as a writer and also war hero. He loved history, traveled extensively, and also had some first-hand suffer in global affairs. He was additionally articulate, handsome, and also charming. If not completely formed, john F. Kennedy had the early makings that a future nationwide leader.In 1946, Kennedy took his an initial steps right into the political realm by to win a chair in the U.S. House of Representatives, the Eleventh Congressional district of Massachusetts. After 6 years of company in the U.S. House of Representatives, Kennedy ran because that the U.S. Senate. Regardless of the 1952 election year donate Republicans nationwide, Kennedy won his chair by beating Massachusetts incumbent Henry Cabot Lodge Jr. In 1953, Kennedy married Jacqueline "Jackie" Bouvier at St. Mary"s Church in Newport, Rhode Island. The handsome and also fashionable pair became mainstays in the media, capturing the fascination of countless Americans. After ~ a debilitating back surgery in 1954, Kennedy provided his convalescence to write a brand-new book, Profiles in Courage. It to be a arsenal of short biographies around eight U.S. Senators who made decisions that ran versus their party and also constituents, yet ultimately showed to be because that the greater great of the nation. After ~ its relax in 1956, Profiles in Courage came to be a bestseller and won the Pulitzer prize in 1957. In 1956, Kennedy do a bid to end up being the vice Presidential candidate come Adlai Stevenson in the presidential race. The narrowly lost to Estes Kefauver yet gained extr national exposure by giving the nominating speech because that Stevenson in ~ the 1956 democratic National Convention. In 1960, Kennedy do his very own bid for the presidency, became the autonomous front-runner, and defeated the Republican Party candidate, Richard M. Nixon. At age 43, Kennedy ended up being the youngest-elected American president and also the very first Catholic.

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President john F. Kennedy claps when his children, Caroline Kennedy and also John F. Kennedy, Jr., run in the Oval Office that the White House, Washington, D.C. 10 October 1962 Kennedy possessed a solid knowledge the American history, was forward-thinking, and articulate. His inaugural resolve remains among our nation"s best-remembered speeches. His most renowned line, "ask not what your nation can do for you, ask what you deserve to do for your country", inspired whole generation of american to publicly service. Kennedy symbolized youth and vigor and also many american were confident that that would provide on his promises for a much better future. During his presidency, Kennedy developed the peace Corps, he challenged Americans to be an initial to the moon, he crafted the Civil civil liberties Act, and signed the equal Pay Act. The was also the first president who aided establish major laws to aid those with pundit disabilities. During the Cuban Missile Crisis, as soon as nuclear confrontation loomed, that was critical in de-escalating tensions. Kennedy was likewise the first president to start modern televised press conferences. He was a natural in former of the camera and also used his humor, charm, and also wit, to affix with his audiences. Kennedy to be widely well-known in the united States and also abroad. On November 22, 1963, the unimaginable happened: john F. Kennedy to be assassinated in Dallas, Texas. His life and presidency was cut short by an assassin"s bullet. Tv coverage that the funerary services enabled the nation to participate and also mourn collectively. Because that those alive at the time, Kennedy"s assassination make a lasting impact. Plenty of can recall exactly where lock were and what they to be doing, when they got the shocking news. Many were left guessing regarding what may have been, had actually he lived. In spite of his brief time in office, Kennedy"s vision, charisma, and also eloquence made the an enigmatic leader whose legacy and popularity proceeds today.John F. Kennedy"s increase to power represents the American Dream establish in the grandest vision. Simply several generations eliminated from Ireland"s working class, Kennedy came to be President that the united States. When Kennedy own a range of necessary skill sets the made this achievement possible, the tough work of his ancestors to lay the structures for his success cannot be understated.