Rose Elizabeth <I>Fitzgerald</I> Kennedy


Rose Elizabeth Fitzgerald Kennedy

Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts, USA
Death 22 Jan 1995 (aged 104)
Hyannis Port, Barnstable County, Massachusetts, USA
Burial Brookline, Norfolk County, Massachusetts, USA
Memorial ID 1879 View Source
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American Socialite. She was the matriarch of the politically prominent Kennedy family and mother of John Fitzgerald Kennedy, 35th President of the United States, and of Robert Francis Kennedy and Edward Moore "Ted" Kennedy, United States Senators. She was born Rose Elizabeth Fitzgerald in the North End neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts, the eldest child of John Francis "Honey Fitz" Fitzgerald, a prominent figure in Boston politics who served one term in Congress and later became the city's mayor. The Fitzgerald family lived for a time at 39 Welles Avenue, in the Ashmont Hill section of Dorchester, Massachusetts while she attended the local Girl's Latin School. She graduated from Dorchester High School in 1906, then attended finishing school at a "strict French convent," and became her father's traveling companion; visiting many countries of Europe in 1908, and the newly built Panama Canal. She married wealthy financier Joseph Patrick Kennedy on October 7, 1914, after a courtship of more than 7 years. They set up housekeeping in nearby Brookline, in a house that is now a national historic landmark. She bore four sons and five daughters, among them a future president, and a number of senators and philanthropists, including the founder of the Special Olympics. Always a physically active person, she took brisk ocean swims in 50 degree weather -- even into her 80s. There is no question but that Rose cared for her children and assisted them in every way in their careers. However, she was not a particularly hands-on mother. "I did little diaper changing," she admitted. At the family’s summer retreat at Hyannis Port, Massachusetts, Rose often sought solitude to remove herself from the ruckus of her big family. An intensely devout Roman Catholic, she would pray in her private retreat. Rose Kennedy did not push her own ambitions on her children the way her husband did. Instead, she quietly offered another path, by her own example, of religious and familial duty and personal stoicism. After the death of the president, she nearly cried. Regaining her self-composure, she declared, "No one will ever feel sorry for me." Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy outlived her husband and four of her nine children, dying at the age of 104 in 1995, from complications of pneumonia. Rose Kennedy was the longest-lived Presidential parent (and/or relative) in history. She was well-known for her philanthropic efforts, as well as leading the Grandparents' Parade at age 90 at the Special Olympics. Her life and work with the Special Olympics are documented in American Film Foundation's documentary “Rose Kennedy: A Life to Remember.”

Bio by: Edward Parsons


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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Added: 31 Dec 2000
  • Find a Grave Memorial 1879
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Rose Elizabeth Fitzgerald Kennedy (22 Jul 1890–22 Jan 1995), Find a Grave Memorial ID 1879, citing Holyhood Cemetery, Brookline, Norfolk County, Massachusetts, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .