NPR FOR THE DEAF: We Hear It Even When You Can’t


By the time he turned 40, Joseph Kennedy was a millionaire many times over and the head of what would soon become one of America’s greatest political dynasties. In his new biography of the senior Kennedy, The Patriarch: The Remarkable Life and Turbulent Times of Joseph P. Kennedy, David Nasaw charts Kennedy’s life and trajectory from Boston society boy to Hollywood bigwig to controversial ambassador to Great Britain as World War II unfolded on the European stage. And then there are the tragedies. Joe Kennedy — a devoted father by Nasaw’s account — outlived four of his nine children, and struggled with the mental illness of his daughter Rosemary, whose lobotomy he personally set in motion when she was 23. He then sent her away to an institution for the remainder of her life. After she left, her name was not mentioned again in the Kennedy home.  MORE