Astonishing story from the Boston Globe. Sen. John Kerry, D-MA, presidential candidate, practicing Catholic, member of the prominent Winthrop and Forbes clans, husband to the Heinz food fortune is (wait for it)….
The Globe did some deep genealogical research into Kerry and dug out stuff like his grandfather committing suicide in the men’s room of the Copley Plaza Hotel (with considerable press coverage of the event). And in among it all, they tracked Kerry’s family back to what is now the Czech Republic and a man named Fritz Kohn, who became Frederick A. Kerry.
The senator has known he had a Jewish grandmother for about 15 years but didn’t know much about her, and claims to have long tried to disabuse people about his presumed Irish heritage. The Globe sounded awfully surprised — five grafs worth — to learn that he’s not of the Auld Sod:
Numerous publications, including the Globe, have stated that Kerry is Irish-American.
”I’m sure some people see the name and say, `Hey, I think it’s this or that,’ but I’ve been clear as a bell,” Kerry said. ”I’ve always been absolutely straight up front about it.”
Kerry spokeswoman Kelley Benander said the senator has corrected any misstatement he became aware of. When she was read three examples from Globe clippings in which the senator was misidentified as Irish-American, she repeated that Kerry had corrected misstatements when he read or heard them.
Kerry ”has never indicated to anyone that he was Irish and corrected people over the years who assumed he was,” Benander said.
”It is certainly an understandable misimpression,” she said. ”His name was Kerry, he represents Massachusetts, and he attended the St. Patrick’s Day breakfasts, like everyone else in public life in the state.”