James Gerard Kennedy II (1907-1997) aka James G. Kennedy, Founder, President, and Chairman of James G. Kennedy & Company, Inc. (b. February 07, 1907, Manhattan, New York, USA - d. Christmas Eve, December 24, 1997, Larchmont, Westchester County, New York, 10538, USA) Social Security Number 081012772.
James was born in 1907 in Harlem.
- Kathryn Kennedy (1897-1974) aka Kitty Kennedy, aka Sis Kennedy, who married Joseph O'Malley (1893-1985)
- Mary Frances Kennedy (1898-1982) who married Walter M. Hill (1893-1965) the taxi driver and movie projectionist
- Josephine Kennedy (c1900-c1902) who died as an infant
- Thomas Anthony Kennedy (1901-1972) who married Gertrude Reed (1898-1980)
- James Gerard Kennedy I (c1903) who died at birth
- Joseph Edward Kennedy (1905-1983) who married Beatrice McDermott (1904-1970)
He married Antoinette Granato (1916-1942) around 1940 and she died of cancer in 1942 after being hospitalized for 2 months and 14 days.
He married Rita Masset (1920-2008) in June of 1951.
According to the Florida Institute of Technology:
James G. Kennedy, Sr., was Founder, President, and Chairman of the successful 68-year-old interior construction firm, James G. Kennedy & Co, Inc. Mr. Kennedy began his career as a plasterer for the Davis, Brown Company. His first notable construction project was renovation of Bankers Trust at 14 Wall Street. A landmark project in the company’s history was full restoration of the New York Telephone Company, following a devastating fire. A motion picture, 'The Miracle of Second Avenue,' tells the remarkable story of the rebuilding of 'Ma Bell.' A recent, acclaimed project was reconstruction of the Fifth Avenue headquarters of the American Irish Historical Society. Mr. Kennedy was Chairman of the Executive Council of the Society for 25 years. James Kennedy served in World War II as a highly decorated veteran of the Army Corps of Engineers. A Governor of the Downtown Athletic Club, he helped to maintain the integrity of the famous Heisman Trophy. Many accolades for distinguished service were bestowed upon Mr. Kennedy. He was invested into the Order of Knights of Malta; named 'Man of the Year' by the American Jewish Committee; and honored in 1989 by the Dominican Academy as 'Catholic Gentleman' for his generosity in constructing the James G. Kennedy Science Center at the School. He served as President of the Building Contractors Association of the City of New York, and generously supported the Tropical Disease Center at Lenox Hill Hospital. James G. Kennedy, Sr. died on Christmas Eve, 1997, survived by his wife, the former Rita Masset, and by their son, James G. Kennedy Jr., President of the family firm". They also wrote that "James G. Kennedy, Sr., devoted a lifetime to building and preserving the best that we have. Close to the end of his lifetime, he built a rare book room, a safe home for records of the story of the Irish in America.
James died on Christmas Eve, December 24, 1997 in Larchmont, New York.
His obituary appeared in the New York Times on Saturday, December 27, 1997, and again on Tuesday, December 30, 1997:
[Died] at home on December 24, 1997. James G. Kennedy Sr., Chairman of the Board of James G. Kennedy & Co., Inc., began his career as a plasterer for the old Davis, Brown Company. He was born in Manhattan's Harlem and attended Townsend Harris High School. "Back then, it was a high school for City College," he recalled. Mr. Kennedy completed an accelerated three year program at Townsend and then took courses at the Mechanical Institute, New York City. After several years as a plasterer, James Gerard Kennedy founded James G. Kennedy & Co., Inc. in 1935. After serving his country as a highly-decorated World War II veteran with the Army Corps of Engineers, his first significant project involved a major renovation for Bankers Trust company at 14 Wall Street. The Kennedy Company has since done multiple major renovations for the same client for over 60 years. A landmark project in the company's history was actually made into a motion picture by the New York Telephone Company. The film was titled "The Miracle of Second Avenue." It told the story of how "Ma Bells" main switching center, devastated by fire, was restored to 100% working order in record time-with the help of James G. Kennedy & Co., Inc. under the leadership of its President, James G. Kennedy, Sr. Mr. Kennedy's career has been marked by ongoing involvement in industry, civic and religious activities. He has served as the President of The Building Contractors Association (BCA) of the City of New York, and has been a Committee Member and a member of the Board of Directors of the BCA. Mr. Kennedy also helped to maintain the integrity of the famous Heisman Trophy when he served as a Governor of the Downtown Athletic Club (home of the Heisman Trophy) in New York City. As Chairman of the Executive Council of the American Irish Historical Society, he was responsible for the reconstruction of the entire Fifth Avenue headquarters of the Society. Mr. Kennedy has been honored by The American Jewish Committee as "Man Of The Year," and in 1989 he was honored by The Dominican Academy as "A Catholic Gentleman" for his generosity in constructing the James G. Kennedy Science Center at the school. Mr. Kennedy is also a Knight of Malta. Mr. Kennedy married the former Rita Masset in Manhattan's St. Partrick's Cathedral. They will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary next year. Mr. Kennedy is survived by his wife Rita, son James G. Kennedy Jr. Funeral Mass today 10 AM at Sts. John and Paul Church in Larchmont, New York.
- Researched and written by Richard Arthur Norton (1958- )
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