Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr.

Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr.

Businessman + Political Figure + Father of John F. Kennedy
Born Sep 6, 1888

Joseph Patrick "Joe" Kennedy, Sr. was a prominent American businessman, investor, and government official. Kennedy, an Irish American, was the father of U.S. President John F. Kennedy, United States Attorney General and Senator Robert F. Kennedy, United States Senator Edward M. Kennedy, naval officer Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. , Special Olympics co-founder Eunice Kennedy Shriver, and former U.S.… Read More

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1888 Birth Born on September 6, 1888.


1912 23 Years Old After graduating from Harvard with an A.B. in economics in 1912, he took his first job as a state-employed bank examiner, allowing him to learn a great deal about the banking industry.
1913 24 Years Old In 1913, the Columbia Trust Bank, in which his father held a significant share, was under threat of takeover. … Read More
1914 25 Years Old On October 7, 1914, Kennedy married Rose Elizabeth Fitzgerald, the eldest daughter of Boston Mayor John F. "Honey Fitz" Fitzgerald (political rival of P. J.) and Mary Josephine "Josie" Hannon. … Read More


1919 - 1923 3 More Events
1926 37 Years Old Kennedy moved to Hollywood in March 1926 to focus on running the studio. … Read More
1927 38 Years Old He later purchased another production studio called Pathe Exchange, and merged those two entities with Cecil B. DeMille's Producers Distributing Corporation in March 1927.
1928 39 Years Old 1 More Event
In August 1928, he unsuccessfully tried to run First National Pictures.


1932 - 1933 2 More Events
1935 46 Years Old 1 More Event
He left the SEC in 1935 to take over the Maritime Commission, which built on his wartime experience in running a major shipyard. Father Charles Coughlin was an Irish-Canadian priest near Detroit, who became perhaps the most prominent Roman Catholic spokesman on political and financial issues in the 1930s, with a radio audience that reached millions every week. A strong supporter of Roosevelt in 1932, Coughlin in 1934 broke with the president, who became a bitter opponent of Coughlin's weekly, anti-communist, anti-Semitic, anti–Federal Reserve and isolationist radio talks. … Read More
1936 47 Years Old In 1936, Kennedy worked with Roosevelt, Bishop Francis Spellman and Cardinal Eugenio Pacelli (later Pope Pius XII) to shut Coughlin down. … Read More
1938 49 Years Old 1 More Event
In 1938, Roosevelt appointed Kennedy as the United States Ambassador to the Court of St. James's (the United Kingdom) in London. … Read More


By August 1940, Kennedy worried that a third term as the President for Roosevelt would mean war. … Read More
1942 53 Years Old Nevertheless, Kennedy supported Roosevelt's third term in return for Roosevelt's promise to support Joseph Kennedy, Jr., in a run for Governor of Massachusetts in 1942. … Read More
On May 6, 1944, his daughter Kathleen married William "Billy" Cavendish, the eldest son of Edward Cavendish, who was the head of one of England's grandest aristocratic families.
1946 57 Years Old After grieving over his dead son, Joe Sr. then turned his attention to his second son, Jack, for a run for the presidency. After serving as a member of the House of Representatives beginning in 1946, and then a U.S. Senator beginning in 1952, the younger Kennedy entered the Presidential election in 1960, and won it. … Read More
1947 58 Years Old A political conservative (John F. Kennedy once described his father as being to "the right of Herbert Hoover"), Kennedy supported Richard Nixon, who had entered Congress with John in 1947.


1950 61 Years Old 1 More Event
Kennedy's close ties with Republican (GOP) 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. … Read More
1952 - 1953 2 More Events
In 1954, when the Senate was threatening to condemn McCarthy, Senator John Kennedy faced a dilemma. "How could I demand that Joe McCarthy be censured for things he did when my own brother was on his staff?" asked JFK.
1960 71 Years Old In 1960 Kennedy approached Nixon, praised his anti-Communism, and said "Dick, if my boy can't make it, I'm for you" for the presidential election that year.
1961 72 Years Old 1 More Event
However, in 1961, Joe Kennedy suffered a stroke that placed even more limitations on his influence in his sons' political careers. … Read More
1964 75 Years Old 1 More Event
Kennedy did regain certain functions with the help of therapies; most notably, he went to The Institutes for the Achievement of Human Potential in 1964, a Philadelphia center that teaches therapies for people with brain injuries. … Read More
1969 80 Years Old 1 More Event
He died at home in Hyannis Port on November 18, 1969, two months after his 81st birthday; he had outlived three of his four sons and one of his five daughters. … Read More
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