Rosemary Kennedy's Dad Ordered Her Lobotomy to Prevent Pregnancy, New Books Claim
Two new books shine a spotlight on the Kennedy family's darkest secret: Rosemary Kennedy.
Rosemary: The Hidden Kennedy Daughter and The Missing Kennedy give further insights into the oldest daughter in America’s most storied family.
But her winning Kennedy smile hid a tragic fact - Rosemary's delivery at birth was botched by a nurse that resulted in brain damage.
People magazine features both books in this week's cover story on newsstands this Friday.
East coast editor, Liz McNeil of People told INSIDE EDITION: “When Rosemary was born, the nurse actually delayed her birth, waiting for the physician to arrive. Rosemary was deprived of oxygen which may have led to some of her disabilities later on in life.”
Rosemary's erratic behavior worried her father Joe Kennedy Sr. who believed the stigma of mental illness in the family would ruin his plans to build a political dynasty,
“She had tantrums from time to time. Which some people think might have been her frustrations in not being able to keep up with her siblings. As she grew older, into her teen years, she stared to have more tantrums and that time she was hard to manage,” McNeil said.
In her private diaries, written in her child-like hand, she writes about a date with a boy: "He gave me violets to pin on my coat. We went to the plaza. I had a grand time with him."
Her father worried that Rosemary might get pregnant and disgrace the family. So he had her secretly lobotomized. The surgery backfired and left her severely disabled.
From then on, Rosemary was hidden from public view and cared for by nuns at a private Catholic nursing home.
Elizabeth Koehler-Pentacoff is author of The Missing Kennedy and she is actually the niece of the nun who looked after Rosemary.
“She never was allowed out publically," she told INSIDE EDITION.
She says family matriarch, Rose Kennedy, finally visited her daughter after 20 years but it was no happy reunion.
Koehler-Pentacoff said: “Her mother opened her arms wide for a hug when Rosie just experienced her frustration and started beating her chest as if to say: ‘Where were you all of these years?’”
After Joe senior's death in 1969, Eunice Kennedy-Shriver brought her sister back into the family fold.
Eunice, the mother of Maria Shriver, founded the Special Olympics which she dedicated to Rosemary.
Watch Below: Author Pens the Untold Story of Jackie Kennedy and JFK Jr.