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Rosemary Kennedy, younger sister of President John F. Kennedy, was lobotomized in 1941 at age 23. In 1959, she was put out of public view at a remote facility in rural Wisconsin, where, for more than twenty years, she remained unvisited by family and non-family alike, until 1962.
Elizabeth Koehler-Pentacoff (Liz) and her parents were likely the first non-Kennedy family members to visit Rosemary following her lobotomy. Liz was niece to Rosemary's caretaker, Sister Paulus, a Catholic nun at St. Colleta, and she visited Rosemary on a regular basis for the next thirty-four years. Through their friendship, Liz discovered the person many had forgotten or never known.
In 2015, ten years after Rosemary's death, Liz came forward with a fascinating book about the hidden daughter of America's royal Kennedy family. "The Missing Kennedy: Rosemary Kennedy and the Secret Bonds of Four Women" is truly unique. It is an eyewitness account of Rosemary's post-lobotomy years, the first published by a non-family member, and it's augmented by nearly 100 never-before-seen pictures of Rosemary after she was lobotomized.
Liz can shed considerable light on so many questions, the four biggest being:
- Why did no one visit Rosemary for more than two decades?
- What quality of life did Rosemary lead after her lobotomy?
- What should have been the correct diagnosis of Rosemary's pre-lobotomy condition?
- And in what ways did immense good come from Rosemary's tragic life?
This touching story of the intersection of two families will leave you with a unique portrait of the missing, but not forgotten, Kennedy.
About the Author
Elizabeth Koehler-Pentacoff was born and raised in rural Wisconsin, but left the Midwest for college in California and has returned only for family visits. She has written seven books for children and two for adults, including The ABCs of Writing for Children, a Writer's Digest Book Club Selection. She's also written hundreds of articles for magazines and newspapers such as Columbia, The San Francisco Chronicle, and Parents Magazine. She's married and lives with her husband in northern California.