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date: 20 September 2020

Kennedy, Rose Fitzgeraldlocked

(22 July 1890–23 January 1995)
  • Barbara L. Ciccarelli


Kennedy, Rose Fitzgerald (22 July 1890–23 January 1995), philanthropist and political matriarch, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the daughter of John Francis Fitzgerald, a politician, and Mary Josephine Hannon. In 1904 the Fitzgeralds moved from Boston’s immigrant North End to a fifteen-room house in the Boston suburb of Dorchester. While her mother nurtured her commitment to family and the Catholic church, her father introduced her to politics. Kennedy graduated with honors from Dorchester High School in May 1906, the same year her father, “Honey Fitz,” was elected mayor. Because she was only fifteen, her parents prohibited her from attending Wellesley College. Instead, she enrolled at Sacred Heart Convent in Boston and the New England Conservatory of Music, where she became a skilled pianist. From 1908 to 1909 she attended Blumenthal Academy, a German convent finishing school in Valls, the Netherlands, attaining fluency in German and French. She completed her higher education at Manhattanville College of the Sacred Heart in Purchase, New York, and graduated in 1910....

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