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Patricia Kennedy and Peter Lawford Marriage Profile

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The wedding and marriage of Patricia Kennedy and Peter Lawford was described as a storybook romance. However in the midst of alcohol and affairs, the romantic story ended in a divorce.

Here is information about the marriage of Patricia Kennedy and Peter Lawford.

Born:

Patricia Kennedy: May 6, 1924 in Brookline, Massachusetts.

Peter Lawford aka Peter Sydney Ernest Aylen: September 7, 1923 in London, England.

Died:

Patricia Kennedy Lawford: September 17, 2006 at her Southampton, New York home at the age of 82. Patricia died of complications from pneumonia.

Peter Lawford: December 24, 1984 in Los Angeles, California. Peter died at age 61 from cardiac arrest and complications from his kidney and liver failure.

His ashes were scattered in the Pacific Ocean.

How and When Patricia Kennedy and Peter Lawford Met:

Patricia and Peter first met in Palm Beach, Florida in 1952 during the Christmas holidays. They met again in Manhattan in November 1953.

Two months later, Peter proposed by telephone when Pat was in Tokyo, Japan.

After hearing Patricia's yes, Peter greeted her at the San Francisco airport with an eight-carat diamond engagement ring he had purchase from Van Cleef & Arpels.

They announced their engagement on February 12, 1954.

Ages at Wedding:

Patricia was nearly 30 and Peter was 30 when they married.

Wedding Date:

Peter and Patricia were married on April 24, 1954 at The Church of Saint Thomas More in New York, New York. The Reverend John J. Cavanaugh, former president of Notre Dame University, performed their wedding ceremony.

Some of the 250 guests at their wedding reception at the Plaza Hotel included Greer Garson, Marion Davies, Bernard Baruch, Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas, Mr. and Mrs. Igor Cassini, and Mr. and Mrs. Morton Downey Sr.

The Plaza Hotel ballroom "resembled a country garden "decorated with pink snapdragons, tulips, delphinium, and branches of flowering dogwood." They had a five-tier wedding cake "decorated with wedding bells, doves, swans, roses and lilies of the valley."
Source: Kennedy Weddings: A Family Album, page 69.
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Around three thousand people were waiting outside the church to get a glimpse of the newlyweds.

Residence:

Peter and Patricia's large beachfront home in Santa Monica, California was once owned by Louis B. Mayer. Patricia moved to New York City in 1966 and had homes in Manhattan and Southamption, New York.

Children:

Peter and Patricia had one son and three daughters. They had ten grandchildren. Read More about their children

Divorce:

In February 1966, Patricia and Peter divorced over Peter's affairs and drinking. Patricia was the first first child of Rose and Joseph Kennedy to divorce.

Patricia moved to Idaho to establish residency there so they could avoid the divorce laws of New York. Their divorce was finalized in Gooding, Idaho.

Other Marriages and Relationships:

Considered a debonair and dashing playboy, Peter had three other marriages and a well known, controversial affair.
  • Dorothy Dandridge: Peter and actress Dorothy Dandridge had marriage plans, but canceled their wedding due to fears of ruining their careers. Dorothy committed suicide on September 8, 1965.
  • Dorothy had two marriages:

    • Harold Nicholas: Marriage lasted from September 6, 1942 through October 1951. They had one daughter.
    • Jack Denison: June 22, 1959 through December 1962.

  • Mary Rowan:Peter and Mary met on her father's TV show, Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In. Married on October 30, 1971. They divorced on January 2, 1975.
  • Deborah Gould: Married on June 25, 1976. They divorced in 1977.
  • Patricia Seaton: Married in July 1984 after a nine-year courtship. Their marriage ended when Peter died on December 24, 1984.

Occupations:

Patricia Kennedy Lawford: Patricia founded the National Committee for the Literary Arts, and was associated with the Kennedy Library and the National Center on Addiction.

Peter Lawford: Peter was an actor, director and producer.

Quotes About the Marriage of Peter and Patricia:

Peter Lawford: "Pat's a tremendous person. She has a terrific mind. A great sense of loyalty. She's so honest. There's no pretense about her at all. And she has such a wonderful outlook on everything."
Source: Los Angeles Times

Christopher Lawford about his father, Peter: "Basically, my grandfather's worst nightmare. My father was English. He was Protestant and he was an actor."
Source: CBS News

Christopher Lawford, about his father's place in the Kennedy clan: When Patricia tried to stop Peter from being on stage with JFK, "A more levelheaded JFK quickly intervened on his brother-in-law's behalf, telling his sister, "Pat, he's your husband. I'd say that qualifies him. Besides, it doesn't hurt having a good-looking movie star around."
Source: Salon.com

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