Archive

Posts Tagged ‘RIP Ted’

In Memory of Mary Jo Kopechne

August 26, 2009 Leave a comment

Who was Mary Jo Kopechne, forever linked to Ted Kennedy because of Chappaquiddick? Read her biography below and read about the incident itself. Then see the videos at the end of this post.

Mary Jo Kopechne

Mary Jo Kopechne

Mary Jo Kopechne Biography

Mary Jo Kopechne was born on July 26,1940 in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. She was the only child of Joseph and Gwen Kopechne. She attended parochial schools in New Jersey where she grew up and graduated with a degree in business administration from Caldwell College for Women in 1962. She moved to Montgomery, Alabama, to teach for a year at the Mission of St. Jude as part of the Civil Rights Movement. And then in ‘63, she moved to Washington, D.C., to work as secretary to Florida Senator George Smathers. Mary Jo Kopechne joined New York Senator Robert F. Kennedy’s secretarial staff, following his election in 1964 where she worked as a secretary to one of RFK’s speechwriters.

By all accounts, Mary Jo Kopechne was a loyal and tireless worker for Robert Kennedy. During his campaign, she worked as one of the “Boiler Room Girls”, an affectionate name given to six young women who worked from a central, windowless location in Kennedy’s Washington campaign headquarters.

After Robert Kennedy was assassinated in June of 1968, Mary Jo was devastated and felt she could not return to work on Capitol Hill. She eventually went to work for Matt Reese Associates, a Washington, D.C., firm that helped establish campaign headquarters and field offices for politicians and was one of the first political consulting firms.

Mary Jo Kopechne lived in a Georgetown neighborhood with three other women. She was a devout Roman Catholic with a demure, serious personality, rarely drank much, and had no reputation for extramarital activities with men.

On July 18, 1969, Mary Jo Kopechne attended a party on Chappaquiddick Island, off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, held in honor of the Boiler Room Girls – her old friends and fellow Robert Kennedy campaign workers.

Reportedly, Mary Jo Kopechne left the party at 11:15 p.m. with Ted Kennedy, after he offered to drive her to catch the last ferry back to Edgartown, where she was staying. That ride cost Mary Jo Kopechne her life. After supposedly making a wrong turn, Kennedy drove his car off a bridge, freeing himself from the submerged car and leaving Mary Jo to die. Mary Jo Kopechne was 28 years old. Read more…

Advertisements
Categories: Community Tags: , , ,