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Kate Clifford Larson On The Hidden Kennedy Daughter08:28

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Historian Kate Clifford Larson. (Robin Lubbock/WBUR)closemore
Historian Kate Clifford Larson. (Robin Lubbock/WBUR)

In September 1918, the influenza epidemic hit Boston hard. Hospitals were overflowing and doctors in demand.

That same month, Rose Kennedy went into labor at her home in Brookline — and the doctor was delayed. The nurse did as she'd been trained, and held the baby in the birth canal for two hours until the doctor got there.

The baby was Rosemary Kennedy. She was Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy and Joseph Kennedy, Sr.'s first daughter. She was beautiful and brain-damaged from birth.

As she grew, her younger siblings, including sisters Kathleen and Eunice, thrived. But Rosemary was emotionally and physically slow.

Her story is told in the new book by historian Kate Clifford Larson, called "Rosemary: The Hidden Kennedy Daughter." Larson joined WBUR's Lisa Mullins to discuss the book.

This segment aired on October 13, 2015.

Lisa Mullins Host, All Things Considered
Lisa Mullins is the voice of WBUR’s All Things Considered. She anchors the program, conducts interviews and reports from the field.

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