Born – 20th February 1920
Died – 7th January 2005
Father – Joseph Kennedy (1888 – 1969)
Mother – Rose Fitzgerald (1890 – 1995)
Spouse – None
Children – None
Known to History – Sister of John F Kennedy
1918 (3rd September)
Rosemary Kennedy was born to Joseph Patrick Kennedy Sr and Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy at Brookline, Massachusetts. She was given the names Rose Marie but was known as Rosemary. She was the couple’s 3rd child and eldest daughter her brothers Joe and John had been born earlier.
Rosemary’s brother John, caught scarlet fever and was in hospital for 8 weeks.
1920 (20th February)
Rosemary’s sister Kathleen Agnes Kennedy was born to Joseph Patrick Kennedy Sr and Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy at Brookline, Massachusetts. She was known to the family as Kick because of her rebellious nature.
1921 (10th July)
Rosemary’s sister, Eunice Mary, was born to Joseph and Rose Kennedy at Brookline, Massachusetts.
1921 (10th July)
Rosemary’s sister, Eunice Mary, was born.
1924 (6th May)
Rosemary’s sister Patricia Helen (known as Pat) was born.
1925 (20th November)
Rosemary’s brother Robert Francis (known as Bobby) was born.
The Kennedy family moved to Riverdale, New York to avoid an outbreak of polio.
1928 (20th February)
Rosemary’s sister Jean Ann was born.
The Kennedy family moved to Bronxville, New York.
1932 (22nd February)
Rosemary’s brother Edward Moore (known as Ted) was born.
Joe Kennedy Sr was appointed ambassador to the United Kingdom.
The Kennedy family moved to London.
1938 (12th May)
Kathleen was presented as a debutante at the annual Queen Charlotte’s Ball.
The Kennedy children and their mother returned to the United States after Britain declared war on Germany.
Rosemary Kennedy’s behaviour worsened, she began to experience convulsions and would often fly into rages which were difficult to manage.
Without consulting his wife or other members of the family, Joseph Kennedy signed a consent for Rosemary to undergo a lobotomy. The procedure failed and left her unable to communicate or care for herself.
Rosemary was institutionalised. She was sent to Craig House, a psychiatric hospital north of New York.
Rosemary Kennedy was moved to St. Coletta’s School for Exceptional Children in Jefferson, Wisconsin. She was cared for by two Catholic nuns. Her parents did not reveal her location even to her siblings.
In an interview, Rosemary Kennedy’s absence from her brother John’s campaign, was explained by declaring her to be a recluse.
Following John F Kennedy’s election as President of the United States, a statement was issued that Rosemary Kennedy had been institutionalised due to being mentally retarded. The failed lobotomy was not revealed.
1961 (19th December)
Joseph Kennedy suffered a stroke that left him unable to speak and paralysed on the right side of his body.
Rosemary Kennedy’s siblings were told that she was at St Coletta’s School.
Eunice Kennedy organised a Summer camp for children and adults with learning disabilities.
Founded by Eunice Kennedy, the first Special Olympics was held at Chicago, United States.
1969 (18th November)
Rosemary’s father Joseph Kennedy died at Hyannis Port. He was buried at Holyhood Cemetery, Brookline, Massachusetts.
Following the death of Joseph Kennedy, the family began to bring Rosemary to family events.
1995 (22nd January)
Rosemary’s mother, Rose Kennedy died at Hyannis Port. She was buried at Holyhood Cemetery, Brookline, Massachusetts.
2005 (7th January)
Rosemary Kennedy died at Fort Atkinson Memorial Hospital in Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin. Her siblings Eunice, Pat, Jean and Ted were at her bedside.
Published Dec 27, 2020 @ 4:00 pm – Updated –
Harvard Reference for this page:
Heather Y Wheeler. (2021). Rosemary Kennedy 1918 – 2005.