Known for movies

Short Info

DiedAugust 12, 1944, Blythburgh, United Kingdom, August 12, 1944, Blythburgh, United Kingdom
SpouseRose Kennedy, Rose Kennedy
FactIn 1925 he was retained by the financially troubled owner of Film Booking Office of America (FBO), a "Poverty Row" studio specializing in cheaply made westerns, to help find a new owner. Kennedy formed his own group of investors and bought FBO for $1.5 million (approximately $20 million in 2012 dollars). Subsequently, he moved to California in March 1926 to focus on running the studio. At the time movie studios were permitted to also own exhibition companies (a practice that was stopped by a 1947 Supreme Court decision involving Paramount Pictures), so Kennedy launched a hostile buyout of the Keith-Albee-Orpheum Theaters Corporation (KAO), which had more than 700 vaudeville and movie theaters across the U.S. In 1927 he acquired another production studio and film exhibitor, American Pathé, and its Pathé Exchange distribution subsidiary. In October 1928 he formally merged his film companies FBO and KAO with RCA's Photophone Division to form Radio-Keith-Orpheum (RKO). He topped this off by acquiring the Pantages Theater chain for $3.5 million ((approximately $47 million in 2012 dollars), creating a major studio in the process with RKO Pictures.


Joseph P. Kennedy Sr. was an American businessman, investor, and politician. He was the father of President John F. Kennedy, Senator Robert F. Kennedy, and Senator Ted Kennedy. He was also the grandfather of Congressman Joe Kennedy III, former Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy, and Mark Shriver.

Kennedy was born in 1888 in Boston, Massachusetts. His parents were Patrick J. Kennedy and Mary Augusta Hickey. He had four brothers and sisters: Rose, Margaret, Eunice, and John. Kennedy attended the prestigious Boston Latin School and then went on to Harvard University. He graduated from Harvard in 1912 with a degree in economics.

After graduation, Kennedy went to work for his father’s company, the Columbia Trust Company. He later became a successful businessman in his own right. He made a fortune in the stock market and in real estate. He also served as the chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission from 1934 to 1935.

Kennedy was married to Rose Fitzgerald from 1914 until her death in 1995. They had nine children together: Joseph Jr., John, Robert, Edward, Patricia, Jean, Eunice, Kathleen, and Rosemary.

Kennedy was a staunch Democrat and an active supporter of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal. He served as the ambassador to the United Kingdom from 1938 to 1940. He was a strong opponent of Adolf Hitler and Nazism.

Kennedy died in 1969 at the age of 81. His net worth at the time of his death was estimated to be $400 million.

General Info

Full NameJoseph P. Kennedy Sr.
DiedAugust 12, 1944, Blythburgh, United Kingdom, August 12, 1944, Blythburgh, United Kingdom
ProfessionPolitician, Film producer, Diplomat, Businessperson, Investor, Politician, Film producer, Businessperson, Diplomat, Investor
EducationHarvard College, Boston Latin School, Harvard University, Harvard College, Harvard University, Boston Latin School
NationalityAmerican, American

Family

SpouseRose Kennedy, Rose Kennedy
ChildrenJohn F. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy, Ted Kennedy, Joseph P. Kennedy Jr., Eunice Kennedy Shriver, Rosemary Kennedy, Kathleen Cavendish, Patricia Kennedy Lawford, Jean Kennedy Smith, John F. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy, Ted Kennedy, Joseph P. Kennedy Jr., Rosemary Kennedy, Eunice Kennedy Shriver, Patricia Kennedy Lawford, Jean Kennedy Smith, Kathleen Cavendish
ParentsMary Augusta Hickey Kennedy, Patrick J. Kennedy, Patrick J. Kennedy, Mary Augusta Hickey Kennedy
SiblingsMary Loretta Kennedy, Margaret Louise Kennedy, Francis Benedict Kennedy, Mary Loretta Kennedy, Margaret Louise Kennedy, Francis Benedict Kennedy

Accomplishments

MoviesQueen Kelly, The Trespasser, The Cowboy Cop, Kosher Kitty Kelly, The Coward, Her Honor, the Governor, The Locked Door, The Eagle's Talons, The Two-Gun Man, Taxi 13, Queen Kelly, The Trespasser, The Coward, The Cowboy Cop, Kosher Kitty Kelly, Her Honor, the Governor, The Locked Door, Taxi 13, The Eag...

Social profile links

Quotes

#Quote
1[after the 1929 stock market crash] I knew it was time to sell when my 'shoeshine boy' gave me a stock tip.
2Don't get mad, get even.
3There are only two pursuits that get in your blood: politics and the motion picture business.
4If you want to make money, go where the money is.

Facts

#Fact
1When he died in 1969, his estate was estimated to be worth $400 million (approximately $2.5 billion in 2012 dollars, when factored for inflation). His fortune was unusual in many ways, one of which was the fact that unlike most of the wealthiest families in America at the time, he was not heavily invested in oil. He made over $100 million in retirement as a real estate speculator. Another $100 million was in tax exempt securities. The only corporation the money was tied to was the family itself.
2As early as 1926, he set up a trust fund for the benefit of his wife Rose and the children that were then born. He set up two additional funds in 1936 and 1949. The 1949 trust is the fund that began to set portions of his wealth to his grandchildren. The three funds, plus the Joseph P. Kennedy,Jr. foundation were the chief vehicles for capital conservation. In 1968, the foundation had assets of $22.1 million (approximately $145.7 million in 2012 dollars), and dispersed as much as $1,600,000 to mental retardation research.
3President Franklin D. Roosevelt, believing that Kennedy knew all of the goings on of the stock market, made him head of the Securities and Exchange Commission.
4Created RKO Pictures in 1928 by combining his Keith-Albee-Orpheum (KAO) theater chains, Film Booking Office of America (FBO) film production studio and the American Pathé film studio and distribution unit with the Radio Corporation of America's (RCA) Photophone Division. RCA hoped an alliance with Kennedy would allow it to break Western Electric Co.'s near monopoly on the sound-film business, and attempted to interest him in using its Photophone process for FBO Pictures. Kennedy responded by initiating negotiations with RCA boss David Sarnoff that resulted in the creation of the Radio-Keith-Orpheum holding company in October 1928. A master stock manipulator, Kenedy and his confederates drove up the share price of RKO before film production had even begun. Kennedy's interest in the motion picture industry was in making money, not necessarily in making films, and the finances of the new company were shaky. He sold the last of his RKO stock in 1931; RKO went into receivership in 1932, after which it was taken over by interests aligned with Nelson Rockefeller and his brothers. It is estimated that Kennedy made over $5 million (approximately $75.5 million in 2012 dollars) from his investments in Hollywood.
5Was a distant cousin of his wife, Rose Kennedy, whom he married in 1914. Rose was the daughter of John Francis Fitzgerald, the Democratic mayor of Boston, Massachusetts, who as the fabled "Honey Fitz" was the most recognized politician in the city.
6Born in Boston, the son of Patrick J. Kennedy, a successful businessman (liquor) and Irish Catholic community leader active in Democratic Party politics. Joseph attended Boston Latin School, where he was a below average academically but proved popular among his classmates, winning election as class president and playing on the school baseball team. Following the example of several older relatives, he attended Harvard University, where he focused on becoming a social leader, gaining admittance to the prestigious Hasty Pudding Club.
7In 1925 he was retained by the financially troubled owner of Film Booking Office of America (FBO), a "Poverty Row" studio specializing in cheaply made westerns, to help find a new owner. Kennedy formed his own group of investors and bought FBO for $1.5 million (approximately $20 million in 2012 dollars). Subsequently, he moved to California in March 1926 to focus on running the studio. At the time movie studios were permitted to also own exhibition companies (a practice that was stopped by a 1947 Supreme Court decision involving Paramount Pictures), so Kennedy launched a hostile buyout of the Keith-Albee-Orpheum Theaters Corporation (KAO), which had more than 700 vaudeville and movie theaters across the U.S. In 1927 he acquired another production studio and film exhibitor, American Pathé, and its Pathé Exchange distribution subsidiary. In October 1928 he formally merged his film companies FBO and KAO with RCA's Photophone Division to form Radio-Keith-Orpheum (RKO). He topped this off by acquiring the Pantages Theater chain for $3.5 million ((approximately $47 million in 2012 dollars), creating a major studio in the process with RKO Pictures.
8During Prohibition, Kennedy's company Somerset Importers became the exclusive U.S. agent for Gordon's Dry Gin and Dewar's Scotch. Anticipating the end of Prohibition, he assembled a large inventory of stock that he sold for a profit of millions of dollars when Prohibition was repealed in 1933. One of his partners in the deal was Franklin D. Roosevelt's son, James Roosevelt. Kennedy invested the money from his legal liquor business in real estate, the Merchandise Mart in Chicago and Hialeah Race Track in Hialeah, Florida. However, rumors that he was a "bootlegger," involved in running illegal liquor across the Great Lakes into the U.S. from Canada in cahoots with the Bronfman family and the Mafia, have never been proven.
9RKO Pictures, under Kennedy's management, made an $8-million offer (approximately $107 million in 2012 dollars) to Alexander Pantages for his chain of theaters in order to boost RKO's exhibition operations. The Pantages Theater chain consisted of 63 premier, financially robust theaters that were the dominant movie exhibitor and vaudeville circuit in North America west of the Mississippi River. Having partnered with the movie distributor Famous Players (a subsidiary of Paramount Pictures) in 1920, Pantages had converted his theaters into "combo" houses that showed films as well as staged live vaudeville. However, Pantages' expansion effectively was blocked by the dominance of Kennedy's Keith-Albee-Orpheum Circuit in the East, which was now part of RKO (Radio-Keith-Orpheum). After Pantages declined the $8-million offer, Kennedy stopped distributing RKO films to Pantages. Despite the pressure, Pantages declined to knuckle under and sell out. A year later, in 1929, he was charged and tried for the rape of one of his 17-year-old ushers, Eunice Pringle. He was convicted and sentenced to 50 years in prison, but the conviction was overturned on appeal. The trial battered his reputation and strained him emotionally, and he finally relented, accepting Kennedy's revised offer of $3.5 million (approximately $47 million in 2012 dollars) for his chain. Ronald Kessler, in his book "The Sins of the Father: Joseph P. Kennedy and the Dynasty He Founded" (New York: Warner Books, 1997), recalled the rumor, begun during Pantages' second trial, that RKO had paid Pringle to frame Pantages; however, there is only anecdotal evidence to support this claim.
10Grandfather of Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, Joseph Kennedy, and Congressman Patrick Kennedy.
11Grandfather of Christopher Lawford
12Father-in-law of Jacqueline Kennedy and Ethel Kennedy.
13Grandfather of Maria Shriver, Robert Shriver, Rory Kennedy, John Kennedy Jr. and Caroline Kennedy.
14Has 30 grandchildren, 26 of whom are alive. [January 1998]
15Four of his nine children died before him: Joseph Jr. was killed in a W.W.II plane crash in 1944. Kathleen died in a plane crash in 1948. John F. Kennedy was assassinated in 1963, and Robert F. Kennedy in 1968.
16Father of the US President John F. Kennedy, Senators Robert F. Kennedy (D-NY) and Ted Kennedy (D-MA) and producer Eunice Kennedy Shriver.
17Daughters: Rosemary Kennedy (b. 1918), Kathleen 'Kick' Kennedy (b. 1920), Eunice Kennedy Shriver (b. 1921), Patricia Kennedy (b. 1924) and Jean Kennedy Smith (b. 1928).
18Sons: Joseph Kennedy Jr. (b. 1915), John F. Kennedy (b. 1917), Robert F. Kennedy (b. 1925) and Edward (b. 1932) (Senator Ted Kennedy).
19US ambassador to the Court of St. James.

Movies

Miscellaneous

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Kosher Kitty Kelly1926presenter
One Minute to Play1926presenter
Hair Trigger Baxter1926presenter
Lone Hand Saunders1926presenter
The Lady of Lyons, N.Y.1926Short presenter
Collegiate1926presenter
The College Boob1926presenter
Back Fire1926Short presenter
The Devil's Gulch1926presenter
Her Honor, the Governor1926presenter
Bigger Than Barnum's1926presenter
Flame of the Argentine1926presenter
The Cowboy Cop1926presenter
All's Swell That Ends Swell1926Short presenter
The Two-Gun Man1926presenter
The Gorilla Hunt1926Documentary presenter
Smouldering Tires1926Short presenter
The Danger Line1924presenter
The Trespasser1929presenter
Tyrant of Red Gulch1928presenter
The Pinto Kid1928presenter
Phantom of the Range1928presenter
Red Riders of Canada1928presenter
The Little Buckaroo1928presenter
Driftin' Sands1928presenter
South Sea Love1927presenter
The Slingshot Kid1927presenter
Aflame in the Sky1927presenter
The Harvester1927presenter
The Cherokee Kid1927presenter
Jake the Plumber1927presenter
Ranger of the North1927presenter
The Mojave Kid1927presenter
Legionnaires in Paris1927presenter
In a Moment of Temptation1927presenter
Clancy's Kosher Wedding1927presenter
The Flying U Ranch1927presenter
A Racing Romeo1927presenter
Not for Publication1927presenter
The Coward1927presenter
Breed of Courage1927presenter
Judgment of the Hills1927presenter
Galloping Thunder1927presenter
The Great Mail Robbery1927presenter
The Gingham Girl1927presenter
Ladies Beware1927presenter
Bulldog Pluck1927presenter
Silver Comes Through1927presenter
Splitting the Breeze1927presenter
The Outlaw Dog1927presenter
Mother1927presenter
City of Shadows1927presenter
The Fighting Hombre1927presenter
Yours to Command1927presenter
Ain't Love Funny?1927presenter
Tarzan and the Golden Lion1927presenter
The Terror of Bar X1927presenter
The Sonora Kid1927presenter
Salvation Jane1927presenter
Lightning Lariats1927presenter
Don Mike1927presenter
Uneasy Payments1927presenter
California or Bust1927presenter
Home Struck1927presenter
Her Father Said No1927presenter
Is That Nice?1926presenter
Alice the Lumberjack1926Short presenter
A Regular Scout1926presenter
Red Hot Hoofs1926presenter
Flaming Fury1926presenter
Rose of the Tenements1926presenter
Bred in Old Kentucky1926presenter
Alice Helps the Romance1926Short presenter
The Border Whirlwind1926presenter
Breed of the Sea1926presenter
The Dude Cowboy1926presenter
The Adorable Deceiver1926presenter
Laddie1926presenter
Out of the West1926presenter
Going the Limit1926presenter
Tom and His Pals1926presenter
Flashing Fangs1926presenter

Producer

TitleYearStatusCharacter
What a Widow!1930executive producer
Red Hot Rhythm1929producer
The Trespasser1929executive producer - uncredited
The Sophomore1929producer
Queen Kelly1929producer - uncredited
Shanghaied1927producer
Tom's Gang1927producer
Splitting the Breeze1927producer
Naughty Nanette1927executive producer
Heavy Fullbacks1926Short executive producer
The Eagle's Talons1923producer - uncredited

Self

TitleYearStatusCharacter
JFK: The Life and Legacy2013Documentary as Joseph P. Kennedy Sr.
I due Kennedy1970DocumentaryHimself
The March of Time: Volume 1, Number 51937Documentary shortHimself

Archive Footage

TitleYearStatusCharacter
JFK to 9/11: Everything Is a Rich Man's Trick2014Video documentaryHimself
Secrets of the Manor House2013TV Series documentaryHimself
Ethel2012DocumentaryHimself
20/202011TV Series documentaryHimself
The Lost Kennedy Home Movies2011TV Movie documentaryHimself
Kennedys' Home Movies2011TV Movie documentaryHimself
Hubert H Humphrey: The Art of the Possible2010TV Movie documentaryHimself - Father of John F. Kennedy
Apocalypse - La 2ème guerre mondiale2009TV Mini-Series documentaryHimself
War Stories with Oliver North2007TV Series documentaryHimself
Revealed2006TV Series documentaryHimself
Rumrunners, Moonshiners, & Bootleggers2002TV Movie documentaryHimself
Roots of the Cuban Missile Crisis2001Video documentaryHimself (as Joseph Kennedy Sr.)
The Kennedys: The Curse of Power2000TV Movie documentaryHiimslef
The Rat Pack1999TV Series documentaryHimself
The 20th Century: A Moving Visual History1999TV Mini-Series documentaryHimself
E! True Hollywood Story1998TV Series documentaryHimself
Hollywoodism: Jews, Movies and the American Dream1998TV Movie documentaryHimself
Modern Marvels1997TV Series documentaryHimself
Biography1994-1996TV Series documentaryHimself
American Justice: Target - Mafia1993TV Mini-Series documentaryHimself
A Year to Remember1991TV Series documentaryHimself
JFK1991Himself - with Family (uncredited)
Hollywood1980TV Mini-Series documentaryHimself
All This and World War II1976DocumentaryHimself

Source: IMDb, Wikipedia

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