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What I Learned From Joseph P. Kennedy

What I Learned From Joseph P. Kennedy
By Founders Podcast • Issue #4 • View online

This episode is about one of the greatest entrepreneurs in history. You will learn how Kennedy got his start, how he made his money and how he was able to achieve his life goal. This podcast is based on the NY Times bestseller and Pulitzer Prize finalist The Patriarch: The Remarkable Life and Turbulent Times of Joseph P. Kennedy by David Nasaw.
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Joseph Kennedy's first business
Joe bought a decrepit-looking bus for $600, to be paid on the installment plan, painted it cream and blue with MAYFLOWER written in bold black letters on the side and went into the sightseeing business. His partner Donovan drove the bus, while Joe handled the megaphone. “Passengers didn’t take the ride just for fresh air or the thrill of motor driving. They were interested in history, and I let them have it. I made special studies of Paul Revere, dug up every record I could find in the Boston libraries.”
Joseph P. Kennedy in one paragraph
Joseph P. Kennedy was a man of boundless talents, magnetic charm, relentless energy, and unbridled ambition. His life was punctuated by meteoric rises, catastrophic falls, and numerous rebirths, by cascading joys and blinding sorrows, and by a tragic ending near Shakespearean in its pathos. An Irish Catholic from East Boston, he was proud of his heritage but refused to be defined by it. He fought to open doors that were closed to him, then having forced his way inside, he refused to play by the rules.
Joseph P. Kennedy's self confidence
There were no tortuous journeys of self-exploration. By the time Joe Kennedy left college, he knew who he was: the smartest man in the room, the one who would come out ahead in every negotiation he entered into. 
Joseph P. Kennedy's life goal
Had Joseph P. Kennedy not been the patriarch of America’s first family, his story would be worth telling. That he was only adds to its drama and historical significance. His primary goal, as a younger man, was to make so much money that his children would not have to make any and could devote their lives to public service. He accomplished that much before he was forty.
Joseph P. Kennedy's wealth
In November 1957, Fortune magazine published its list of the richest Americans. Number one was J. Paul Getty with an estimated fortune of between $700 million and $1 billion; next came seven individuals worth between $400 million and $700 million; Kennedy was in the third group of eight with $200 million to $400 million. 
How Joseph P. Kennedy made money
In the booming 1920s, Joseph P. Kennedy had made his money investing in stocks; in the 1930s, he made more by selling them short; in the 1940s and early 1950s, he invested in real estate and oil, and the money kept rolling in.
Joseph P. Kennedy on idleness
I have never been very happy sitting around and not making a real contribution to the job I was supposed to do. 
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Talk to you soon,
David
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