Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy

Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy

Infobox Person
name = Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy (Mrs. Joseph Patrick Kennedy, Countess Rose Kennedy)

image_size = 200px
caption = Rose holding Joe Jr, circa 1918
birth_date = July 22, 1890
birth_place = North End, Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A.
death_date = death date and age|1995|1|22|1890|7|22
death_place = Hyannis Port, Massachusetts, U.S.A.
occupation = Mother
spouse = Joseph P. Kennedy
parents = John F. Fitzgerald
Mary Josephine Hannon
children = Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr.
John F. Kennedy
Eunice Kennedy Shriver
Robert F. Kennedy
Ted Kennedy
Patricia Kennedy
Jean Kennedy
Kathleen Kennedy
Rosemary Kennedy

Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy (July 22, 1890–January 22, 1995) was the wife of Joseph Kennedy and the mother of President John F. Kennedy.


Born Rose Elizabeth Fitzgerald in the North End neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts, she was the eldest child of John F. "Honey Fitz" Fitzgerald and his wife, Mary Josephine Hannon. "Honey Fitz" was a prominent figure in Boston politics and served one term as a member of United States Congress and two terms as the Mayor of Boston.

As a young child, Rose lived in an Italianate/Mansard-style home in the Ashmont Hill section of Dorchester, Massachusetts and attended the local Girl's Latin School. The home later burned down, but a plaque at Welles Avenue and Harley Street proclaims "Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Square". The plaque was dedicated by her son, Senator Edward M. Kennedy, on Rose's 102nd birthday in 1992.

Rose studied at the convent school Kasteel Bloemendal in Vaals, Holland, and graduated from Dorchester High School in 1906. She also attended the New England Conservatory in Boston where she studied piano [] . After being refused permission by her father to attend Wellesley College, Rose enrolled at the Manhattanville College of the Sacred Heart (as it was known at that time). In 1908, Rose and her father embarked on a tour of Europe.

Marriage and children

On October 7, 1914 Rose married Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr. after a courtship of more than seven years. They first lived in a home in Brookline that is now the John Fitzgerald Kennedy National Historic Site. Rose and Joseph had the following nine children:

Rose was predeceased by her husband, Joseph, in 1969, and four of her nine children: Joseph Jr. in 1944, Kathleen in 1948, John F. in 1963 and Robert in 1968. Just eight months after John F. was assassinated, Rose's mother, Mary, died at the age of 98.

Rosemary Kennedy died on January 7, 2005 at the age of 86 and Patricia Kennedy Lawford died on September 17, 2006 at the age of 82, both from natural causes. As of August 2008, only three children are still living: 87-year old Eunice Kennedy Shriver, 80-year old Jean Kennedy Smith and 76-year-old Senator Edward "Ted" Kennedy.


In 1984, at the age of 94, Rose suffered a severe stroke leaving her confined to a wheelchair for the rest of her life.She maintained her residence at the Kennedy Compound in Hyannis Port, Massachusetts and was cared for by private nurses and staff. On January 22,1995, Rose died from complications from pneumonia at the age of 104. She continues to be the longest-lived presidential relative in history. Her longevity can be attributed to both parents as her father died in 1950 at age 87 and her mother died in 1964 at age 98.


Well-known for her philanthropic efforts and for leading the Grandparents' Parade at age 90 at the Special Olympics, Rose's life and work are documented in the Oscar-nominated short documentary "".

Rose is also one of six women from the United States to have the title Papal Countess bestowed upon her by the Roman Catholic Church. She received this honor in 1951 by Pope Pius XII in recognition of her "exemplary motherhood and many charitable works."


* The Rose Kennedy Greenway in Boston, Massachusetts is named after her.
* The Rose Kennedy Cocktail is a popular drink in bars in the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic United States.
* Played by Michelle Trout in the film, "Lives and Deaths of the Poets" (2009).

External links

*findagrave|1879|Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy
* [ Boston Women's Historic Trail]


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