Patrick Joseph Kennedy

Patrick Joseph Kennedy

Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts, USA
Death 18 May 1929 (aged 71)
Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts, USA
Burial Malden, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, USA
Memorial ID 48714115 · View Source
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Patrick Joseph Kennedy, commonly known as "P.J." was an American Businessman & Politician. He was the father of Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr. and grandfather to United States President John F. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy, and Senator Edward M. Kennedy. P.J. is quoted as being "Likable, always ready to help less fortunate fellow Irishmen with a little cash and some sensible advice, P.J. enjoyed the approval and respect of most folks in East Boston" (Robert Dallek).

P.J. was born in Boston in 1858 to Patrick Kennedy and Bridget Murphy, both Irish-born immigrants that had come to America in 1849, settling in East Boston. He was the youngest of five children, one of which, John, died of cholera before P.J.'s birth.

His father, Patrick, died ten month's after P.J.'s birth, dying of cholera which had infected the entire East Boston neighborhood.

Being the only boy in the family, he was sent to school, the first Kennedy to recieve a formal education. He attended the local Roman Catholic school, Sisters of Notre Dame, which he graduated from in 1876, after he attended Boston College, graduating in 1880. During his years in college he found work in the East Boston Shipyards as a stevedore, to help support his mother and three sisters.

In 1880, with the money he had saved after months of working in the shipyards, along with a loan from his mother and sisters, P.J. began his business career by buying a run down saloon in Haymarket Square.

This business venture proved successful and he soon bought a second saloon by the Boston docks, and a third in an East Boston hotel. His growing prosperity allowed him to start his own wine and spirits import business, P.J. Kennedy & Co. His company flourished and made him a leading figure in the Boston liquor trade.

On November 23, 1887, P.J. married Mary Augusta Hickey, the daughter of prosperous businessman, and fellow saloon keeper, James Hickey and Margaret Field Hickey. They had four children, Joseph, Francis (died in infancy), Mary, and Margaret.

In addition to being a leading businessman of the city, P.J. was also a major political figure. His likeable nature allowed him to be elected in 1884 to the Massachusetts House of Represenative. He served five consecutive one-year terms in the house, which was followed by three two-year terms in the Massachusetts State Senate. After his leaving the senate in 1895, P.J. was appointed to several offices, elections and fire commissioners, and the back-room boss of Boston's Ward Two.

P.J. was also a wise investor, he owned a large amount of stock in the bank, Columbia Trust Co., and held much interest in a coal company. His wealth allowed his family to live comfortable, if not lavish, lifestyles.

P.J. died on May 18, 1929 in his hometown of Boston.

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  • Created by: RJKing
  • Added: 24 Feb 2010
  • Find A Grave Memorial 48714115
  • G Jack Donahue
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Patrick Joseph Kennedy (14 Jan 1858–18 May 1929), Find A Grave Memorial no. 48714115, citing Holy Cross Cemetery and Mausoleum, Malden, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, USA ; Maintained by RJKing (contributor 47117440) .