During Franklin Roosevelt's presidency, Joseph Kennedy, Sr., was the first chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, and later U.S. ambassador to the United Kingdom. Any ambitions he may have had to progress further up the political ladder were blocked by: 1) his isolationist views at the outset of World War II, which put him on the wrong side of history, and 2) prejudice that, at that time, kept a Roman Catholic such as Kennedy from the highest echelons of leadership.
His large impact on American political life was made through the children and grandchildren of him and his wife, Rose. The story is, of course, well known. One son became president of the United States, and several sons and grandsons served in both houses of Congress. The family has also held other titles, ranging from attorney general to ambassador.
It's interesting to note that, after Eunice Shriver died yesterday, only two of Joe and Rose's nine offspring survive. The nine were/are:
Joseph Kennedy, Jr. (1915-44)
John Kennedy (1917-63)
Rosemary Kennedy (1918-2005)
Kathleen (Marchioness of Hartington) (1920-48)
Eunice Shriver (1921-2009)
Patricia Lawford (1924-2006)
Robert Kennedy (1925-1968)
Jean Smith (1928- )
Edward Kennedy (1932- )