The Myth of Joe Kennedy’s Bootlegging
No matter how many trysts JFK had or how much he drank, his habits paled in comparison to his father Joe’s alleged activities during Prohibition.
Wild parties in Palm Springs with famous actors and musicians, affairs with beautiful starlets, nail-biting showdowns with international rivals, a dramatic death, a hero’s burial: The life and times of President John F. Kennedy are both well-known and well-mythologized.
For decades, JFK was viewed as a prototypical golden boy both in his home state of Massachusetts and beyond. But the truth about his behavior, which has slowly come out over the years, is a good deal less glowing—and a good bit boozier.
His dinners at the White House were legendary for their copious cocktails, including rum & cokes according to Sally Bedell Smith’s book Grace and Power. “They served the drinks in enormous tumblers,” writer and close Kennedy friend George Plimpton told Bedell Smith. “Everybody had too much to drink because they were excited.”