Editor’s Note: In 1960, with John Kennedy running for President against Richard Nixon, my mother, Mary Gwinn Bowe, held a Kennedy campaign event in our Apartment 4B at 1120 Lake Shore Drive. The Chicago Tribune photographer captured the event. Ted Kennedy’s wife Joan was at the piano, with Ethel Kennedy, the wife of Bobby Kennedy, standing behind her.
Sept. 16, 1960–Apt. 4B, 1120 N. Lake Shore Dr.
Helen Touhy, Ethel & Joan Kennedy, Mrs. Wendall Green & Mary Bowe
Also in the picture next to my mother is Lorraine Green, the wife of Judge Wendell Green. Judge Green was a Circuit Court judge and a colleague of my uncle Augustine Bowe, who had recently been elected Chief Justice of the Municipal Court of Chicago. A leading African American leader in her own right, among her other civic engagements, Mrs. Green served for many years on the boards of Chicago Public Schools, the Urban League, and the Commission on Human Relations that Gus Bowe chaired for many years.
Although I could never confirm it, I once read something that made me think that when Ethel’s son Christopher and his wife first came to Chicago they may have been in the apartment his mother had visited on the campaign trail in 1960, and that I was born into in 1942.
While I have had a copy of the picture of my mother by the piano since it was published in the Tribune, I was recently treated to a new picture of my mother during the 1960 campaign. Cousin Daisy Janeway Bowe spotted it when our local public television station WTTW ran a documentary film on Jane Byrne, Chicago’s first woman mayor. In 1960, Byrne was Secretary-Treasurer of the Kennedy campaign’s Chicago office when John Kennedy made a stop to campaign in the City. In the clip from the video above, Jane Bryne’s daughter Kathy recalls how Kennedy held her as an infant at an event attended by Kennedy, her mother Jane Byrne later Mayor of Chicago (1979-1983), and longtime Chicago Mayor (1955-1976) Richard J. Daley. And, low and behold, there in the group you see my mother, standing right behind Kennedy, with Mayor Daley on the far left. That may be Jane Byrne in the black cap by her daughter.