Patricia Kennedy was the sixth child born to Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr and Rose Elizabeth Fitzgerald on May 6 1924 in Brookline, Massachusetts.
Considered the most sophisticated of all 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 fathers stories and adventures there as a movie mogul heading RKO. After graduating from Rosemont College, she moved to Hollywood in hopes of becoming a movie producer and director like her father.
Joe Kennedy apparently believed that his daughter could do as much, once saying, "Pat is the one with head for bussiness. She could really run this town if she put her mind to it." Though because she was a female in the very conservative 1950s, she was restricted to producing religious programs. She would meet british actor Peter Lawford through her brother Jack, who had previously run into Lawford at parties. Both young, magnetic, and attractive, they courted quickly and offically announced their engagement in February 1954. They married on April 24th of that year at the Church of St. Thomas More in New York City just weeks before her 30th birthday. They decided to settle in Santa Monica, California which was an ideal place for Pat to raise children as well as an easy commute for Peter to Hollywood movie sets and the Las Vegas stage. With the election of her brother as President, she and Peter would become Hollywood royalty.
The couple had four children: Christopher Kennedy (b. 1955), Sydney Meliea (b. 1956), Victoria Francis (b. 1958), and Robin Elizabeth (b. 1961). Despite the glamorous persona they presented, their marriage suffered strains early as far back as their engagement. Peter had difficulty adjusting to Pat's steadfast catholisicm and her family's larger-than-life image. Pat could not tolerate Peter's heavy drinking, extra-marital affairs, and his slow addiction to drugs. Shortly after her brothers death, Pat filed for a legal separation and the couple were offically divorced in 1966. Since, Patricia Kennedy Lawford has successfully been battling her own alcohol addiction and has worked with the John F. Kennedy Library and Museum as well as the National Center on Addiction. She currently resides in Southampton, New York.
See also: Kennedy family