I used to tease my dear mother that she turned me into a political scientist at the tender age of four! In October 1960 she loaded me and my two older brothers into our '56 Chevy for a trip to downtown Louisville, Kentucky, to attend a presidential campaign rally and see her new political hero--Senator John F. Kennedy. We arrived early and stood right in front of the podium where the handsome candidate spoke and reached over to shake my brother's hand. I was hooked! From that point on, I adored politics and began a life-long fascination with the Kennedy clan. On family vacations, I would urge my parents to stop at all the historic sights and memorials dedicated to JFK and his family. From Boston, to Hyannis Port, to Palm Beach, to Georgetown, to Arlington Cemetery, we made the pilgrimage.
On a high school field trip to Washington, D.C., I sat outside the White House and vowed to my mother that someday I would come back to work in the nation's capital. I did--from internships to fellowships--in all three branches of government. With a master's degree from Oxford and a Ph.D. from the University of Virginia, I became a specialist on the presidency, the Supreme Court, and, of course, the Kennedys. In addition to serving as a Supreme Court Fellow, I have produced five books on the justices, appointments, and civil rights and liberties. My book on First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy continues to prompt media inquiries, especially comparing Mrs. Obama to "Jackie O." I have completed a biography of Rose Kennedy, based on her recently released papers at the John F. Kennedy Library in Boston and a collection of her letters that I have acquired. It is gratifying to know that Rose Kennedy: The Life and Times of a Political Matriarch has been recommended by the Los Angeles Times, USA Today, and Vanity Fair.