The Who2 Blog

Joe Kennedy Jr. Was Born in Hull, Not Boston

Joe Kennedy Jr. is at top right. Photo: John F. Kennedy Presidential Library
We’ve just corrected the birthplace of Joseph Kennedy, Jr. in our biography on Who2.  Joe Junior was the older brother of President John F. Kennedy and was the first-born of the nine Kennedy children.
Until now we’ve listed Boston as Joe Jr.’s place of birth, as do most reference sources. But the late Sen. Edward Kennedy (the youngest of the Kennedy children) corrects that mistake in his memoir True Compass, published earlier this year. 
On page 38, reflecting on the family’s children and homes, he notes: “Joe Jr., the first, arrived in a summer house in Hull, Massachusetts, in 1915.”
Hull is a small town about 10 miles southeast across the bay from Boston. 

All the Kennedy children were born in Massachusetts.  For the record, here are the cities of birth as listed by Ted Kennedy in True Compass:

  Joe Jr:  Hull
  Jack, Kathleen, Rosemary Brookline (“a trim little house on Beals Street”)
  Eunice, Pat, Bobby:  Brookline (“a larger house in Brookline”)
  Jean, Edward:  Boston

Brookline is a neighborhood just west of downtown Boston. The family was actually living in Bronxville, New York when both Jean and Ted were born. But as Ted explains in his book:

After the move to Bronxville, though, my mother insisted that one bond with her origins remain unbroken: any children still to come would be born in her native city–never mind the intervening two hundred miles.  In 1927 she returned to her beloved Boston for the birth of Jean. And in early 1932, at the age of forty-one, my mother returned again for my birth at St. Margaret’s Hospital.

We regret the original error on Joe Jr.’s birthplace, and we’re please to correct it now.

Learn more about Clan Kennedy »


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