Gerard F. Doherty, "Friend of the Year" Tribute
Gerard F. Doherty: a "Friend of the Year" tribute presented by the Friends of the Charlestown Branch of the Boston Public Library. Thursday, May 16, 6:00 pm award presentation, with intermittent serenading performed by tenor Wes Hunter. Free and open to all, including a reception. Conveniently located to the Orange Line and bus connections. Charlestown Branch Library, 179 Main Street, Charlestown, MA 02129.
Gerard F. Doherty, the son of a Boston firefighter and lifelong native and resident of Charlestown, got to be in the middle of it all. Doherty just may be the only man who had a seat at the table with all three Kennedy brothers, John, Bobby, and Ted. His political advocacy work led him to be involved with some of the most influential moments of the Kennedy brothers' political lives, both on a local level and a national level.
In other words, Gerard F. Doherty has many tales to tell. And the Friends of the Charlestown Branch Library shall be providing an opportunity to gather and be fascinated by what he has to share.
Doherty's book They Were My Friends – Jack, Bob and Ted: My Life in and out of Politics, published in 2017, weaves the story of his unlikely rise to the top of Massachusetts political leadership and how he became the man behind the Kennedy political machine at key moments in history. He also shares accounts of his work helping Presidents Carter and Johnson win the White House, and much more.
Doherty has a treasure trove of stories when it comes to the history of Massachusetts politics and the golden age of the Kennedy political dynasty. But he also knows all too well of the daily concerns of families and their struggles of loss, so real in every pocket throughout the city. He also knows firsthand the power of childhood friendships and how those relationships can carry you through difficult times throughout your life.
There will be ample opportunity to engage him in dialog, not only about that era in U.S politics, but also about Charlestown's direct connections to that era. He is also probably the first local person anyone should seek out if they are interested in running for political office themselves!
"Gerry has been by my family's side through triumph and tragedy They Were My Friends is not just a memoir of a rich political career and generational friendship — it is a roadmap for any public servant today, searching for a way forward in undoubtedly difficult political times." (Congressman Joseph P. Kennedy III)
In the course of the gathering, Gerard F. Doherty will be serenaded by tenor Wes Hunter.
Further background information:
Gerard F. Doherty was born and still lives in the Charlestown neighborhood of Boston. He was educated at Malden Catholic High School, Harvard University and Suffolk University Law School. He was a two-time State Representative and MA State Democratic Party Chairman. He was active in the campaigns of Jack, Bob and Ted Kennedy and became their friend. He was also involved in the presidential campaigns of Lyndon Johnson and Jimmy Carter. He built a successful law practice with a specialty in real estate development.
Wes Hunter is affiliated with the North End Music & Performing Arts Center (NEMPAC) as a performing artist and a teacher. According to NEMPAC's Artistic Director, Hunter is "a phenomenally engaging performer with a beautiful, bright tenor voice." NEMPAC is the key resource for quality music arts programming in the North End/Waterfront and surrounding neighborhoods in Boston. Their mission is to empower artists of all ages and abilities through a wide array of educational offerings and professional performing arts programs. A music school and a music performance hub, NEMPAC believes that all are musicians and performers, and prepares individuals to be the best version of themselves through music artistic experiences and training programs.
The Friends of the Charlestown Branch of the Boston Public Library was formed in 1953, becoming the second Friends group to organize within the Boston Public Library system. The Friends schedule four to six evening programs a year, support the Reading is FUNdamental programs for children, and maintain the library's landscaping. The mission of the Friends remains today what it was in 1953: to serve as an advocacy and support group for the needs of the Charlestown Branch Library, its staff and users.