Patricia Kennedy Lawford: Wikis

  
  

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Patricia Kennedy Lawford

Patricia Kennedy
Born May 6, 1924(1924-05-06)
Brookline, Massachusetts
Died September 17, 2006 (aged 82)
Manhattan, New York
Spouse(s) Peter Lawford (1954–1966; divorced)
Children Christopher Kennedy Lawford,
Sydney Maleia Kennedy Lawford,
Victoria Francis Lawford,
Robin Elizabeth Lawford

Patricia Helen "Pat" Kennedy Lawford (May 6, 1924 – September 17, 2006) was an American socialite and the sixth of nine children of Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr. and Rose Fitzgerald, sister to President John F. Kennedy, Senators Robert F. Kennedy and Edward M. Kennedy.

Considered the most sophisticated, yet also the most introverted, of her parents' five daughters, Pat since childhood had a fascination with travel and Hollywood. She in time would become a world traveler, so much so that as a young girl she was given assignments by the independent and foreign press to write of her travels. Her ongoing fascination with Hollywood was fueled by her father's stories and adventures there as a movie mogul heading RKO Pictures. After graduating from Rosemont College, she moved to Hollywood in hopes of becoming a movie producer and director like her father.

Her father apparently believed that she could do as much, once saying, "Pat is the one with head for business. She could really run this town if she put her mind to it." However, because she was a woman in the very conservative 1950s, she was restricted to working as production assistant on patriotic and religious productions such as singer Kate Smith's radio program and Father Peyton's "Family Rosary Crusade".

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Marriage and divorce

She met British actor Peter Lawford through her sister Eunice in the 1940s. They met again in 1949, and again in 1953. They courted briefly and officially announced their engagement in February 1954. They married on April 24, 1954 at the Roman Catholic Church of St. Thomas More in New York City weeks before her 30th birthday. They settled in Santa Monica, California, and often socialized with the actress Judy Garland and her family. Garland gave birth to her son Joseph at the same hospital and on the same day Patricia gave birth to her son Christopher. Patricia made a cameo appearance on her husband's NBC sitcom, Dear Phoebe, which aired during the 1954-1955 television season.

Despite the glamorous persona Peter presented, their marriage suffered strains as early as their brief engagement. Peter had difficulty adjusting to Pat's steadfast Catholicism and her family's larger-than-life image. Pat could not tolerate Peter's heavy drinking, extramarital affairs, and slow addiction to drugs. Shortly after JFK's assassination, Pat filed for a legal separation, and the couple were officially divorced in 1966. In accordance with her religious beliefs, she never remarried.

Children

The couple had four children:

  • Christopher Kennedy Lawford (born: March 29, 1955 in Santa Monica, California). He married Jean Olsson on November 17, 1984 in Bequia, West Indies. She is the daughter of Einar Valentine Olsson and Chae Ok Hee. They have three children: David Christopher Kennedy Lawford (b. May 24, 1987); Savannah Rose Lawford (b. February 13, 1990); and Matthew Valentine Lawford (b. February 27, 1995).
  • Sydney Maleia Kennedy Lawford (born: August 25, 1956 in Santa Monica, California). She married James Peter McKelvy (b. 1955) on September 17, 1983 in Barnstable, Massachusetts, the son of William Sheldon McKelvy and Nancy Ryon. They have four children: James Peter McKelvy, Jr. (b. April 4, 1985); Christopher Kennedy McKelvy (b. August 8, 1987); Patrick Ryon McKelvy (b. May 26, 1989); Anthony Lawford McKelvy (b. November 28, 1992).
  • Victoria Francis Lawford (born: November 4, 1958 in Santa Monica, California. She married Robert Beebe Pender, Jr. (b. 1953) on June 13, 1987 in Southampton, New York. They have three children: Alexandra Lawford Pender (b. March 11, 1988); Caroline Patricia Pender (b. April 25, 1990); Victoria Rose Pender (b. May 13, 1993).
  • Robin Elizabeth Lawford (born: July 2, 1961).
With Lawford are (l-r) Senator Ted Kennedy, Jean Kennedy Smith, Raisa Gorbachyova, and Mikhail Gorbachev.

Later life

After her divorce, Patricia Kennedy battled alcohol addiction and suffered a bout with cancer. She worked with the John F. Kennedy Library and Museum, as well as with the National Center on Addiction, and was a founder of the National Committee for the Literary Arts, for which she arranged a series of author lectures and scholarships.

Patricia Kennedy died at age 82 in her Manhattan home from complications of pneumonia. She was survived by her four children and 10 grandchildren, as well as, at the time, her sisters Eunice and Jean, and her brother Edward. She was buried in Southampton Cemetery.[1]

See also

References

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