- Category : 1918-births
- Type : MGE
- Profile : 4/6 - Opportunistic / Role Model
- Definition : Single
- Incarnation Cross : RAX Rulership 3
Daughter of an important American family, third child of Joseph and Rose Kennedy, first sister of President John F. Kennedy (29 May 1917), and Senators Robert F. Kennedy (1925) and Ted Kennedy.
By Massachusetts state law, the Binet intelligence test was given to her before first grade, as she twice failed to advance from kindergarten on schedule. According to a biographer, Kennedy had personally suffered intellectual disabilities. She was deemed to have an IQ between 60 and 70 (in an adult, equivalent to a mental age between eight and twelve). Her sister Eunice thought that Rosemary's problems arose because a nurse had delayed her birth awaiting the doctor who arrived late, depriving her of oxygen.
One Kennedy family biographer called her "absolutely beautiful" with "a gorgeous smile". At twenty, she was "a picturesque young woman, a snow princess with flush cheeks, gleaming smile, plump figure, and a sweetly ingratiating manner to almost everyone she met". She enjoyed dancing such as at her sister Kathleen's coming-out party.
Placid and easygoing as a child and teenager, the maturing Rosemary Kennedy became increasingly assertive and rebellious. She was also reportedly subject to violent mood swings. In November 1941, when Rosemary Kennedy was 23, doctors told Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr. that a new neurosurgical procedure, lobotomy, would help calm her mood swings and stop her occasional violent outbursts. He decided that his daughter should have the lobotomy performed; however, he did not inform his wife Rose of this until after the procedure was completed. About 80 lobotomies, 80% on women, had been performed in the United States at the time. After the lobotomy, it quickly became apparent that the procedure was not successful. Kennedy's mental capacity diminished to that of a two-year-old child. She could not walk or speak intelligibly and was considered incontinent. After the procedure, Kennedy was immediately institutionalized where she remained for the rest of her life. Following the death of her father in 1969, Kennedy was occasionally taken to visit relatives in Florida and Washington, D.C., and to her childhood home on Cape Cod. By that time, Rosemary had learned to walk again but did so with a limp. She never regained the ability to speak clearly and her arm was palsied.
Rosemary Kennedy died from natural causes on 7 January 2005, at the Fort Atkinson Memorial Hospital at the age of 86.