|Born||Julia Stimson Thorne
September 16, 1944
New York City
|Died||April 27, 2006
|Spouse(s)||John Forbes Kerry
(m. 1970–1988; divorced)
|Children||Alexandra Forbes Kerry
Vanessa Bradford Kerry
|Parents||Landon Ketchum Thorne, Jr.
Alice Smith Barry
|Relatives||David Thorne (brother)|
Thorne was born in New York City. She was the daughter of Landon Ketchum Thorne, Jr. and Alice Smith Barry. Her maternal great-grandfather was journalist David S. Barry and her paternal great-great-grandfather was Alfred Lebbeus Loomis, a physician who served as president of the Association of American Physicians. Her brothers are Landon Ketchum Thorne III of Beaufort, South Carolina and her twin brother David Thorne of Brookline, Massachusetts. She spent much of her childhood in Rome and attended the international school, Marymount in Rome while her brother David attended the Overseas School of Rome. Her father had been appointed to a diplomatic post and was publisher of The Voice of the Daily American. She attended the Foxcroft School in Middleburg, Virginia. She took classes at the New York School of Interior Design and Radcliffe College.
Thorne met Kerry in 1963 at her family's estate in Bay Shore, New York on Long Island. Kerry was a Yale classmate of Thorne's twin brother David. Thorne married Kerry on May 23, 1970 and divorced on July 25, 1988, after a six-year separation. She and John had two daughters together:
During their marriage, Julia began showing signs of depression and later wrote that she had at one time contemplated suicide. She overcame depression by 1990, and by all accounts the two had an amicable relationship.
She married Richard J. Charlesworth in 1997 and they moved to Bozeman, Montana. On May 7, 1997, two years after his remarriage, Kerry publicly announced that he had requested an annulment from the Roman Catholic Church of his marriage to Thorne.
Kerry's 2004 presidential campaign
She endorsed Kerry's 2004 presidential campaign, stating, "I think he is an immensely talented statesman, and I am 100 percent behind him".
She did, however, express concern about protecting her privacy, and stated that she hoped the couple's daughters would not become too involved in public life.
She was the author of the books You Are Not Alone: Words of Experience and Hope for the Journey Through Depression (1993) (with Larry Rothstein) (ISBN 0-06-096977-6) and A Change of Heart: Words of Experience and Hope for the Journey Through Divorce (1996) (ISBN 0-06-095105-2).
After Thorne's death, following a long battle with cancer, Kerry released the following statement:
- "Julia was the best mother two daughters could ask for. She always put our kids ahead of everything. She was completely committed to them and their future. Julia fought a hugely courageous fight against cancer and she passed away with the same grace with which she lived. Everyone who knew her will miss her beyond words."
Julia Thorne was a direct eleventh generation descendant of John Bowne, a defiant activist in the struggle for religious freedom. William Thorne Sr., third signatory of the Flushing Remonstrance is also an ancestor.
- Madame Ex; The Washingtonian; July 1996
- Julia Stimson Thorne's Family Tree
- Another Thorne Family Tree, with navigable links through the generations
- Senator's divorce records available – Boston Globe article revealing that John Kerry and Julia Stimson Thorne's divorce papers are public
- Julia Thorne, author and ex-wife of Sen. Kerry, dead at 61 – Boston Globe obituary