Wednesday, May 25, 2016


JFK+50:  Volume 6, No. 1960


Boston, Massachusetts (JFK+50) Seventy years ago today, May 25, 1946, Joseph Gargan, Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy's brother-in-law and the widower of Rose's sister, Mary Agnes Fitzgerald Gargan, passed away.

Mary Agnes died in 1936.  Joseph Gargan  was survived by three children: Joseph* , Mary Jo and Ann.

Ann Gargan, described as Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr.'s favorite niece,  was with the Ambassador at the golf course in Palm Beach, Florida in December 1961 when he suffered a stroke.  Miss Gargan cared for the Ambassador until his death.

In an oral history for the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate, Miss Gargan says...

"Our mother (Agnes Fitzgerald Gargan) was (Ted Kennedy's) mother's sister.  My brother (Joseph) is a little older than Ted.  I am four years younger than Ted.

(Ted) knew no matter what else happened, he had faith not only in God, but in his family.  His mother and father (were) one hundred percent behind him."

Speaking of Rose Kennedy, Miss Gargan adds...

"Her whole concentration was to go to church and pray for the rest of us.  It was her solace, but it was her strength."

According to the JFK Hyannis Museum, Ann was at the Kennedy Compound on the afternoon of November 22, 1963 when she learned that President Kennedy had been shot in Dallas, Texas and then relayed the shocking news to Rose. The two sat down in front of a television set until Rose asked Ann to turn off all TVs and radios in the house so her invalid husband Joe would not hear about the tragedy that had befallen his son.

*Joseph Gargan was host to a party on Martha's Vineyard the night Senator Edward M. Kennedy and Mary Jo Kopechne drove off the Dike Bridge on Chappaquiddick Island.  Miss Kopechne died while Senator Kennedy survived.


"Fifty Years...or Just Fifty Minutes...," by Frank Fallaci, JFK Hyannis Museum, February 12, 2014,

"Interview with Ann Gargan," Oral History, Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate,

"Under Dike Bridge," The New York Times Book Review, October 23, 1988,

Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr.
Frank Saunders* & Ann Gargan