Rose Kennedy

Birth Name:
Rose Elizabeth Fitzgerald Kennedy
Birth Date:
July 22, 1890
Birth Place:
Boston, Massachusetts
Death Date:
January 22, 1995
Place of Death:
Kennedy Compound, 50 Marchant Ave, Hyannis, Massachusetts
Cause of Death:
Cemetery Name:
Holyhood Cemetery
Claim to Fame:
Historical Figure
Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy was the mother of President John F. Kennedy and of two United States Senators, the long-suffering wife of a fabulously wealthy businessman-ambassador and the matriarch of a family whose political triumphs and personal tragedies she carried with quiet dignity until her dying days. Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy will be best remembered as an American philanthropist, socialite, and matriarch of the Kennedy family. She was deeply embedded in the "lace curtain" Irish American community in Boston. Her father, John F. Fitzgerald, served in the Massachusetts State Senate (1892–1894), in the U.S. House of Representatives (1895–1901, 1919), and as Mayor of Boston (1906–1908, 1910–1914). Her husband, Joseph P. Kennedy Sr., chaired the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (1934–1935) and the U.S. Maritime Commission (1937–1938), and served as United States Ambassador to the United Kingdom (1938–1940). Their nine children included United States President John F. Kennedy, U.S. Senator Robert F. Kennedy of New York, U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts, Special Olympics founder Eunice Kennedy Shriver, and U.S. Ambassador to Ireland Jean Kennedy Smith.

Fun Facts

Rose Kennedy’s husband Joseph was a notorious womanizer who took to bed Greta Garbo, Marion Davies, Shelly Winters, Marlene Dietrich, Constance Bennett, his secretary Janet DesRosiers Fontaine, Judith Exner, Evelyn Crowell, Barbara Hutton, Carole Lombard, Jayne Mansfield, Nancy Carroll, and Clare Boothe Luce. Worst of all Rose knew about each and every indiscretion.

One reason Kennedy had affairs is that his relationship with his wife, Rose, was fairly chaste. According to her close friend Marie Greene, Rose Kennedy, a devout Catholic, believed that sex should be reserved for the purpose of procreation only. Actress Gloria Swanson was a much more modern woman with different moral values. When Joe Kennedy’s affair with Swanson began, Rose Kennedy was in Massachusetts expecting, and then giving birth to, their eighth child. After the birth of their last child, Ted, the Kennedys stopped having sex.

Where did the Kennedy fortune come from? In 1919, Kennedy joined Hayden, Stone & Co., a prominent stock brokerage firm with offices in Boston and New York, where he became an expert dealing in the unregulated stock market of the day, engaging in tactics that were later considered to be insider trading and market manipulation violations. In 1923, he established his own investment company and Kennedy subsequently became a multi-millionaire as a result of taking “short” (selling a stock before you own it only to buy back when the price drops) positions following the 1929 stock market crash. During the Great Depression, Kennedy shrewdly increased his wealth by devoting most of it into investment-grade real estate. In 1929, Kennedy’s fortune was estimated to be $4 million (equivalent to $68.2 million in 2022). By 1935, his wealth had increased to $180 million (equivalent to $3.84 billion in 2022).

On the dark side, Rose Kennedy treated the hired help with total disregard and worse. Rose had a penurious streak, which often found expression in how she treated the servants. She constantly questioned if a person truly worked their entire shift and berated staff they may have bought too many boxes of kleenex. Even though Rose would spend millions on her designer dresses over time, she would constantly judge her staff, much to their annoyance.

Rose was an avid collector of autographs and amassed a large collection of the famous, infamous and just plain notorious.

Cemetery Information:

Final Resting Place:

Holyhood Cemetery

584 Heath Street

Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, 02467


North America


Map of Holyhood Cemetery in Brookline, Massachusetts
Map of Holyhood Cemetery in Brookline, Massachusetts

Grave Location:

Cushing Knoll, Kennedy Family Plot

Grave Location Description

As you enter the cemetery, turn right and stay on Cross Or Western Avenue until it ends. Turn left and then a right on Carroll Avenue. Carroll Avenue turns into O’Connell Avenue and eventually ends right in front of the large Kennedy Memorial, visible on the corner.

Grave Location GPS

42.319052, -71.168406



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