“Three things tell a man: his eyes, his friends and his favorite quotes.”
Joseph P. Kennedy (American Diplomat)
Date of Birth:
September 6, 1888
Date of Death:
November 18, 1969
Joseph Patrick "Joe" Kennedy, Sr. was a prominent American businessman and political figure, and the father of U.S. President John F. Kennedy and United States Senators Robert F. Kennedy and Ted Kennedy. He was a leading member of the Democratic Party and of the Irish Catholic community. He was the inaugural Chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission , appointed by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and later directed the Maritime Commission. Kennedy served briefly as the United States Ambassador to the United Kingdom at the start of World War II.
Born to a political family in Boston, Massachusetts, Joseph Kennedy was educated at Boston Latin and Harvard University, and embarked on a career in finance, making a large fortune as a stock market and commodity speculator and by investing in real estate and a wide range of industries. During World War I, he was an assistant general-manager of Bethlehem Steel and developed a friendship with Roosevelt, then Assistant Secretary of the Navy. Kennedy made huge profits from reorganizing and refinancing several Hollywood studios, ultimately merging several acquisitions into Radio-Keith-Orpheum studios. After Prohibition ended in 1933, Kennedy consolidated an even larger fortune when his company, Somerset Importers, became the exclusive American agent for Gordon's Dry Gin and Dewar's Scotch. He owned the largest office building in the country, Chicago's Merchandise Mart, giving his family an important base in that city and an alliance with the Irish-American political leadership there.