Jean Kennedy Smith
American diplomat
Jean Kennedy Smith
Jean Ann Kennedy Smith is an American diplomat and a former United States Ambassador to Ireland. She is the eighth of nine children born to Joseph Patrick Kennedy, Sr. and Rose Elizabeth Fitzgerald and is their last surviving child. She is the sister of the 35th U.S. President, John F. Kennedy, Senators Robert F. Kennedy and Edward M. Kennedy and Special Olympics founder Eunice Kennedy Shriver.
Biography
Jean Kennedy Smith's personal information overview.
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News
News abour Jean Kennedy Smith from around the web
Nonfiction: Jean Kennedy Smith Remembers Growing Up Kennedy
NYTimes - 3 months
In “The Nine of Us,” Jean Kennedy Smith recalls her early years with Mother, Father and siblings.
Article Link:
NYTimes article
Jean Kennedy Smith, the Last Living Kennedy Sibling, Shares Never-Before-Heard Stories
Yahoo News - 4 months
Like the time Jackie Kennedy made Halloween costumes so they could sneak out of the White House to go trick or treating.
Article Link:
Yahoo News article
Jean Kennedy Smith, the Last Living Kennedy Sibling, Shares Never-Before-Heard Stories
Yahoo News - 4 months
Like the time Jackie Kennedy made Halloween costumes so they could sneak out of the White House to go trick or treating.
Article Link:
Yahoo News article
Transgender woman repays loyal wife by becoming her carer
Daily Mail (UK) - almost 2 years
Jean Smith, 68, from Cornwall, stood by her husband after he decided to live as a woman. Now Emily, 62, is repaying her loyal spouse of 39 years by caring for her now that she has dementia.
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Daily Mail (UK) article
Fifty Years Ago, Idlewild Airport Became JFK
The Street - about 3 years
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Fifty years ago on Tuesday, one of the most commonly used words in New York suddenly began to disappear. The word was "Idlewild," and it was the name of New York's international airport. On Dec. 24, 1963, the airport's name was changed to John F. Kennedy International Airport, commemorating a young president who had been assassinated just a month earlier. At an airport ceremony on Dec. 24, 1963, the 800 guests included JKennedy's brother Ted and sister Jean Kennedy Smith. Then-New York Mayor Robert Wagner, in his unique style, said the purpose of the gathering was to honor a man who was "a brilliant practioner of intercommunication, a young sage of understanding and a tireless searcher for peace." The airport renaming provided a rare honor that enables the former president's name to be recalled hundreds of thousands of times each day in conversations throughout the world. In the ensuing years, air travel, particularly international air travel, surged, even a ...
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The Street article
Obama, Clinton Families Pay Tribute To JFK
Huffington Post - over 3 years
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama paid tribute Wednesday to former President John F. Kennedy's legacy, joining former President Bill Clinton to lay a wreath at Kennedy's grave and presenting a freedom medal that Kennedy conceived before his assassination 50 years ago this week. One on each side, Obama and Clinton held the hands of Ethel Kennedy, widow of Robert F. Kennedy, as they made their way up the stairs at Arlington National Cemetery. First lady Michelle Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton joined the two presidents to place a wreath near the eternal flame that marks Kennedy's gravesite. Obama and Clinton placed their hands over their hearts as a bugler played taps near an American flag at half-staff. Obama made no public comments, but greeted Kennedy relatives gathered to honor his legacy ahead of the 50th anniversary of his assassination on Friday. The daylong tribute began earlier at the White House, where Obama bestowed the Presidential Medal o ...
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Huffington Post article
Five Angry Letters to the Editor (EXCERPT)
Huffington Post - over 3 years
As revealed in The Letters of Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., the historian, Democratic Party activist, and presidential adviser (1917-2007) wielded his pen as a literary weapon -- for criticism, for influence, for chiding, for self-advancement, for righting wrongs and for waving the flag of progressivism. In the following letters from the book, Schlesinger excoriates editors of eminent publications for misrepresentations and falsehoods which could damage his reputation or the reputations of his friends, in the process belittling the liberal movement. He also felt it incumbent upon himself as a historian to correct errors seeping into the public record. Other recipients of letters collected in the Random House book and edited by his two sons Andrew and Stephen Schlesinger, include John, Robert, and Jacqueline Kennedy, Harry Truman, Adlai Stevenson, Hubert Humphrey, Lyndon Johnson, Henry Kissinger, Bill Clinton, Al Gore, Eleanor Roosevelt, John Kenneth Galbraith, Gore Vidal, Bill Buckley, Re ...
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Huffington Post article
'JFK' explores successes, failures of presidency
San Francisco Chronicle - over 3 years
Almost all of the TV films and news specials planned to mark the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy focus on that tragic November weekend in Dallas. Producer-director Susan Bellows understands that JFK's legacy isn't only about his assassination, and that's reflected in the stunning four hours of "JFK," enriched by contributions from writers, historians, politicians and others such as Robert Caro, Evan Thomas, Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, John Seigenthaler, Andrew Young, Jean Kennedy Smith, Julian Bond and Sally Bedell Smith. Kennedy was ambitious and impatient, and only one of those qualities was admired in the world of Massachusetts politics when he retuned home after World War II, already a hero because of the PT 109 incident. Dynastic battleAmbition drove JFK to run against incumbent Massachusetts Sen. Henry Cabot Lodge in 1952 - a true dynastic political battle between the Irish Catholic Kennedy and the Protestant Republican Lodge, grandson of a U. ...
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San Francisco Chronicle article
Trina Y. Vargo: Seamus Heaney, President Obama, Syria
Huffington Post - over 3 years
Sometimes we don't fully appreciate the moment when we're in it... It was January 1998, three months before the Northern Ireland peace agreement was achieved, that I accompanied Senator Ted Kennedy on his first trip to Northern Ireland. St. John's Country House, 'in the remote northwest corner of Ireland, situated by the shores of Lough Swilly, on the Inishowen Peninusla' in Donegal, was the setting of a sort of dream dinner party. Guests included Seamus Heaney, John Hume, Brian Friel, Jennifer Johnston, Senator Ted Kennedy and Ambassador Jean Kennedy Smith. The dinner stands out to me now, in part, because of the complete lack of pretension that surrounded it. When I heard about the death of Seamus Heaney, I pulled out a photo from the evening and found his expression encapsulated his personality -- warm, kind, accessible, joyous, encouraging and gentle. He wore his genius lightly. In a time when banal celebrity often trumps the truly newsworthy, it was uplifting to se ...
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Huffington Post article
Koch-Backed Group Hurls False Assumptions On Obamacare
Huffington Post - over 3 years
The Following post first appeared on FactCheck.org. An ad from a conservative advocacy group attacks the federal health care law by asking misleading and loaded questions about its impact. The ad features a mother named Julie, who asks, “If we can’t pick our own doctor, how do I know my family’s going to get the care they need?” The law doesn’t prohibit Julie from picking her own doctor. She further assumes the government is going to be intimately involved in her family’s health decisions in asking, “Can I really trust the folks in Washington with my family’s health care?” Unless Julie’s family becomes eligible for Medicaid under the law, she’ll be getting private insurance, just as she is now (as best we can infer from the ad). The TV spot, which Americans for Prosperity began airing in Ohio and Virginia July 9, directs viewers to the website ObamacareRiskFactors.com, which is more misleading than the ad itself. The site warns of reduced wages and hours for those ...
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Huffington Post article
Kennedys, Irish mark 50th anniversary of JFK visit
Fox News - over 3 years
The Irish government and the Kennedy clan celebrated the 50th anniversary of one of Ireland's most fondly recalled moments, the visit of President John F. Kennedy, with a daylong street party Saturday that was capped by the lighting of Ireland's own "eternal flame." "JFK 50: The Homecoming" celebrations focused on the County Wexford town of New Ross, from where Patrick Kennedy departed in 1848 at the height of Ireland's potato famine to resettle in Boston. In June 1963, his great-grandson John returned to the town as the United States' first and only Irish Catholic president. During his four-day tour across Ireland, JFK so charmed the nation that, even decades later, his portrait adorns many living-room walls as the ultimate symbol of Irish success in America. Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny joined JFK's only surviving sibling, Jean Kennedy Smith, and his only surviving child, Caroline Kennedy, to hold three torches together that light a fla ...
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Fox News article
Fire from JFK's eternal flame arrives in Ireland
Fox News - over 3 years
A torch lit from the eternal flame at President John F. Kennedy's graveside has arrived in Ireland ahead of ceremonies planned to mark the 50th anniversary of his 1963 visit. The flame was flown from the United States and arrived Thursday in a specially designed miner's lamp identical to the one used to bring the Olympic flame from Athens to London last year. Kennedy became the first American president to visit Ireland during his well-remembered four-day visit that celebrated the family's Irish roots. On Saturday, his daughter Caroline Kennedy and his sister Jean Kennedy Smith will use the torch to light an "emigrant flame" in the town of New Ross. Officials say the flame will symbolize the many emigrants, including JFK's great-grandfather, who left Ireland to start anew.
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Fox News article
2 share drama award honoring Sen. Kennedy
San Francisco Chronicle - about 4 years
2 share drama award honoring Sen. Kennedy The Edward M. Kennedy Prize for Drama Inspired by American History honors a new play or musical that explores the United States' past and deals with great issues of the day. The play by Schenkkan, who won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for "The Kentucky Cycle," begins in November 1963 with Lyndon B. Johnson's sudden ascension to the presidency after the assassination of Kennedy's older brother John F. Kennedy and ends 12 months later with Johnson's historic landslide victory over Barry Goldwater. O'Brien's play is a story of war and war reporting that was inspired by the experiences of Paul Watson, who won a Pulitzer for a 1993 photo of a dead U.S. Army Ranger dragged through the streets of Somalia's capital. The prize was established by Kennedy's sister Ambassador Jean Kennedy Smith in consultation with playwright Tony Kushner.
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San Francisco Chronicle article
'Quartet' review: Hopeful notes on aging
San Francisco Chronicle - about 4 years
'Quartet' review: Hopeful notes on aging Serious musicians The setting is fascinating, a retirement home for old musicians, but serious musicians, not some guy who once played the tuba in a parade, but people who were in major orchestras or who sang opera at La Scala and Covent Garden - people who know what it's like to stand center stage and feel the cascade of applause. Careers of glamour and travel, with romantic flings fueled by room-service Champagne, are over. "Quartet" is buoyed by the Scottish charm of Billy Connolly, as a lovable flirt and extrovert - he is a delight and also a locus of truth in every scene he's in. Yet when the movie is over, the performance that will keep returning to mind may be that of Tom Courtenay, who plays a character of reserved disposition but enormous passion, someone whose intense loves and rages are mostly covered over with a gentle dignity. Special quality The precipitating event in "Quartet" is the arrival on the premis ...
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San Francisco Chronicle article
Lonna Saunders: Will Maria Shriver Fill Uncle Ted's Senate Shoes?
Huffington Post - about 4 years
Why not Maria Shriver as the next Senator from Massachusetts, should Senator John Kerry be confirmed as Secretary of State? In a way, she'd be filling her uncle Sen. Edward Kennedy's shoes. Her dear parents are buried at a cemetery in Hyannis, Mass., and her wedding was at St. Francis Xavier Church in Hyannis. It would be a coming home. The biggest beef against the Senate and the House has been the lack of bipartisanship. Who better to bring it to the Senate than Maria Shriver as the Democratic First Lady of California in a Republican administration led by her husband then-Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger? Also, as a Democrat married to a Republican in the Kennedy family, she has lived her life reaching across the aisle. This is her moment. Interviewing New York Times bestselling author Lawrence Leamer at the time his book, The Kennedy Women first hit the shelves, I was surprised when he said President Kennedy's sister, Eunice, would have made a fine candidate for public ...
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Huffington Post article
Teenage girl shot by Taliban receives international peace award
Fox News - about 4 years
Malala Yousafzai, the 15-year-old Pakistani school girl who was shot last October by Taliban thugs, has won the Tipperary 2012 International Peace Award. Recognizing her struggle for girls' education in Pakistan's troubled northwest region, the Tipperary Peace Convention said Yousafzai was chosen for her courage, determination and perseverance, along with the impact she has had on so many across the world. Among this year's five nominees for the award were Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Indian Congress Leader Sonia Gandhi, according to a statement issued by Pakistan Foreign Office. The statement read, "Malala Yousafzai is being awarded the "2012 Tipperary International Peace Award" Ireland for her courage and determination to speak out in support of equal access to education for every child. Previous recipients of the award include the late Sen. Edward Kennedy, Former US Ambassador Jean Kennedy Smith, Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, the New York City Fir ...
Article Link:
Fox News article
Lonna Saunders: Les Miserables and Lincoln: They March to Freedom
Huffington Post - about 4 years
What do Lincoln and Les Miserables have in common? Enjolras played by Aaron Tveit, a student leader of the June Rebellion in Les Miserables, belts it out: "It is the music of a people/Who will not be slaves again!" It is freedom's anthem. Frenchman Victor Hugo's epic novel was published in 1862 at the time the Civil War between the states was raging across the Atlantic. Les Miserables deals with social class warfare in nineteenth century France and the June Rebellion of 1832. Lincoln also takes place in the nineteenth century during the last months of his life culminating in the enactment of the thirteenth amendment to the Constitution freeing the slaves in America. The American Revolution was ending with the U.S. Constitution going into effect in 1789 just as the French Revolution was beginning. Today the French national holiday, Bastille Day on July 14th, follows right behind America's Fourth of July Independence Day. I had seen Les Miserables on stage, so I ...
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Huffington Post article
Carl Sferrazza Anthony: White House Halloween: Jackie Kennedy, FDR, Reagan, Hillary and More in Costumes
Huffington Post - over 4 years
Halloween has been celebrated in the United States at parties for well over a century, but not until the 1950s did it go entirely mainstream with mass-produced costumes for children and packaged candy to give them as treats. So it was true among presidential first families, as well. During the 1950s, First Lady Mamie Eisenhower became the first known to officially mark the holiday by having the state floor rooms decorated with ghosts, goblins, spider, skeletons and cobwebs. In fact, during her large luncheons held at that time of the year, she had the state dining room outfitted with Woolworth paper skeletons hanging from the chandeliers, paper black cats and witches placed around the tables and carved pumpkins as centerpieces. In some rooms, she had orange light-bulbs replace clear ones to cast a ghostly shadow and add color for atmosphere. A few years later, in the early 1960s, the annual holiday celebration coincided with the residence there of the very young chil ...
Article Link:
Huffington Post article
Sense of Wonder Opens Its Doors to Andover
Andover - over 4 years
Sense of Wonder, 27 Main Street, quietly opened Labor Day Weekend, said co-owner Jean Smith.  The store, which had been previously located at the Eaglewood Shops, in North Andover since 2006, moved to Andover. One of two locations, the other store is in Reading Square. “We really like the Andover downtown area,” explained Smith who co-owns the shop with her husband Jay. The Smiths, who live in Winchester, opened their first Sense of Wonder store in Reading in 1995. They have since moved the Reading store twice, even closed it, but reopened at 2 Haven Street, last November. Describing it as, “a wicked cool store,” Sense of Wonder is an eclectic gift, art, jewelry and accessory store all rolled into one, according to Smith. She said that customers can find unique wedding, baby and personal gifts, as well as unusual and items for the home and themselves. Most items are handmade by artisans in the United States. Smith explained that the most popular is the Simon Pearce cr ...
Article Link:
Andover article
New $100K Playwriting Prize Named For Teddy Kennedy
Arts Journal - over 4 years
"A $100,000 theater award, recognizing a play or musical inspired by American history, is being established at Columbia University in honor of the Senator Edward M. Kennedy [by] the university and one of Mr. Kennedy's sisters, Jean Kennedy Smith." The New York Times 09/27/12
Article Link:
Arts Journal article
Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Jean Kennedy Smith
    LATE_ADULTHOOD
  • 2011
    Age 83
    In February 2011, President Obama awarded her the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor, for her work with people with disabilities.
    More Details Hide Details On March 15, 2011, Smith was inducted into Irish America magazine's Irish America Hall of Fame.
    In 2011, Smith was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor, by President Barack Obama for her work with VSA and the disabled.
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    Smith is the founder of Very Special Arts (VSA), an internationally recognized non-profit dedicated to creating a society where those with disabilities can engage with the arts. In 2011, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor, by President Barack Obama for her work with VSA and the disabled.
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  • 2009
    Age 81
    She attended his funeral on August 29, 2009.
    More Details Hide Details Notes
    In 2009, Smith was honored with the Tipperary Peace Prize along with her brother Ted Kennedy for their support of the peace process in Northern Ireland.
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  • 2000
    Age 72
    The U.S. Department of Justice issued a press release on September 22, 2000, announcing that she had paid US$5,000 in a civil settlement to resolve the allegations.
    More Details Hide Details On September 17, 1998, seven months after the historic Good Friday Agreement, Smith retired as ambassador.
  • 1998
    Age 70
    Irish President Mary McAleese conferred honorary Irish citizenship on Smith in 1998 in recognition of her service to the country.
    More Details Hide Details During a ceremony, McAleese praised Smith's "fixedness of purpose." Irish Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Bertie Ahern told Smith, "You have helped bring about a better life for everyone throughout Ireland."
    Irish President Mary McAleese conferred honorary Irish citizenship on Smith in 1998 in recognition of her service to the country.
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  • 1997
    Age 69
    She has also received the Jefferson Award for Outstanding Public Service, the Margaret Mead Humanitarian Award, and the 1997 Terence Cardinal Cooke Humanitarian Award.
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  • 1995
    Age 67
    Smith has won a number of awards for her work in Ireland and in the disability community. In 1995, she was honored as Irish American of the Year by Irish America magazine and a year later had an uncredited role in the film Michael Collins (1996).
    More Details Hide Details She was awarded honorary citizenship by the Government of Ireland in 1998 and in 2007, Smith received the Gold Medal Award from the Éire Society of Boston, for her peace efforts in Northern Ireland and for her humanitarian work with disabled children.
  • 1994
    Age 66
    In 1994, Smith came to the forefront of American foreign policy when she championed the granting of a U.S. visa to Gerry Adams.
    More Details Hide Details Smith has been lauded for her work in the region, but was criticised for supporting the visa for Adams. Her family have claimed this was a key step in the success of the peace process in the years that followed. In her brother Ted's memoir, he described that "Jean was convinced that Adams no longer believed that continuing the armed struggle was the way to achieve the IRA's objective of a united Ireland," and that "It took only a couple of hours' conversation with Jean after we landed to discover what was the most important thing on her mind – the opportunity for a breakthrough in the Northern Ireland stalemate." She was reprimanded by U.S. Secretary of State Warren Christopher for retaliating against two foreign-service officers at the U.S. Embassy in Dublin, Ireland, who had objected to her recommendation to the U.S. government to grant Adams the visa and had sent in a "Dissent Channel" message. The Foreign Service Journal called the U.S. State Department's report on the matter "scathingly critical". Her management of the embassy came under criticism by the Boston Herald in December 1996, which obtained internal U.S. State Department memoranda and e-mail, for putting pressure on embassy staff to spend taxpayer money to refurbish her residence in Dublin. Smith was also the subject of an allegation of violations of U.S. conflict-of-interest laws.
    She successfully advocated for the U.S. government to grant a visa to Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams, which directly led to the IRA declaring a ceasefire in 1994.
    More Details Hide Details As a demonstration of her ecumenical views, on at least one occasion she received communion in a cathedral of the Church of Ireland, an autonomous province of the Anglican Communion.
    As Ambassador to Ireland, Smith was instrumental to the Northern Ireland peace process as President Bill Clinton's representative in Dublin. She was heavily criticised after advocating for the U.S. government to grant a visa to Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams, although her family would claim this influenced the IRA declaring a ceasefire in 1994.
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  • 1993
    Age 65
    In 1993, Smith was appointed by U.S. President Bill Clinton as the U.S. Ambassador to Ireland, continuing a legacy of diplomacy begun by her father, who was the U.S. Ambassador to the United Kingdom during the administration of U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
    More Details Hide Details As ambassador, she played a pivotal role in the peace process in Northern Ireland for almost five years before retiring the post.
    Her book, Chronicles of Courage: Very Special Artists, co-written with George Plimpton, was published by Random House in April 1993.
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  • THIRTIES
  • 1968
    Age 40
    Kennedy Smith and her husband were present at The Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles on June 5, 1968, when Sirhan Sirhan shot and fatally wounded her brother Robert after he had won the Democratic 1968 California U.S. presidential primary.
    More Details Hide Details In 1974, Kennedy Smith founded Very Special Arts, now known simply as VSA "the international organization on art and disabilities." VSA is a non-profit affiliate of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts which is headquartered in Washington, D.C. It is dedicated to creating a society where people with disabilities learn through, participate in and enjoy the arts. VSA annually serves over 7 million people across American and in 52 countries. Smith has traveled extensively throughout the world on behalf of VSA to advocate for greater inclusion in the arts for people with disabilities.
  • TWENTIES
  • 1956
    Age 28
    On May 19, 1956, she married Stephen Edward Smith in a small chapel of the Roman Catholic Saint Patrick's Cathedral in New York City.
    More Details Hide Details The Smiths maintained a lower profile than some other members of the extended Kennedy family. During the early 1960s, they settled in New York City. Jean gave birth to two sons: The couple also adopted two daughters:
  • 1950
    Age 22
    Jean Kennedy was born in Boston, Massachusetts, on her elder sister Kathleen's eighth birthday. She has been described as the shyest and most guarded of the Kennedy children. She attended Manhattanville College (at the time a Sacred Heart school, and still located in Purchase NY), where she met and befriended two future sisters-in-law: Ethel Skakel, who married her older brother Robert in 1950 and Joan Bennett who married her younger brother Ted in 1958.
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  • TEENAGE
  • 1946
    Age 18
    Smith was intricately involved with the political career of her older brother John, working on his 1946 Congressional campaign, his 1952 Senate campaign, and ultimately his presidential campaign in 1960.
    More Details Hide Details She and her siblings helped Kennedy knock on doors in primary states like Texas and Wisconsin and on the campaign trail played the role of sister more than volunteer, citing her parents' family lesson of "working together for something."
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1928
    Age 0
    Born on February 20, 1928.
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Original Authors of this text are noted here.
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