Walter L. Kennedy

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Walter L. Kennedy (May 10, 1920 – January 22, 1997) was a Vermont automobile dealer and politician who served two terms as Speaker of the Vermont House of Representatives.

Biography[edit]

Walter Lawrence "Peanut" Kennedy was born in Chelsea, Vermont on May 10, 1920. He graduated from Chelsea High School and worked at Pratt and Whitney in East Hartford, Connecticut. Kennedy served with the United States Army Air Forces during World War II, attaining the rank of Corporal, and afterwards returning to Chelsea.[1][2]

Kennedy managed the Chelsea Co-Op Grocery and worked for American Home Foods until 1952, when he went into business as a car dealer. He soon became owner and operator of a Chrysler-Plymouth-Dodge-Jeep dealership, which became one of the largest car dealerships in Vermont.[3]

A Republican, Kennedy was elected to the Vermont House of Representatives in 1960. He served seven terms, 1961 to 1975, and was Speaker of the House from 1971 to 1975.[4]

In 1974 Kennedy was the unsuccessful Republican nominee for Governor, losing to incumbent Thomas P. Salmon.[5]

After losing the race for Governor Kennedy served as Chairman of the Vermont Republican Party from 1975 to 1976, and was an unsuccessful candidate for the Vermont House in 1976.[6]

In retirement Kennedy resided in Florida. He died in Sarasota, Florida January 22, 1997.[7][8][9][10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Obituary, Walter L. Kennedy, The World (Barre, VT) newspaper, January 28, 1997
  2. ^ American Legislative Leaders in the Northeast, 1911-1994, James Roger Sharp and Nancy Weatherly Sharp, 2000, page 137
  3. ^ Automotive News, Crain Automotive Group, 1972, page 33
  4. ^ Speakers of the Vermont House of Representatives since 1870, Vermont Secretary of State, Archives and Records Administration, 2009, page 9
  5. ^ General Election results for Vermont Governor, 1789-2008, Vermont Secretary of State, Archives and Records Administration, 2009, page 37
  6. ^ Newspaper article, Walter Kennedy, Colorful Vermont politician, by Associated Press, The Day (New London, CT), January 24, 1997
  7. ^ Death notice, Walter Kennedy, former Vermont House Speaker, Bangor Daily News, January 24, 1997
  8. ^ Florida Death Index, 1877-1998, entry for Walter L. Kennedy, accessed via Ancestry.com, March 28, 2012
  9. ^ Social Security Death Index, entry for Walter L. Kennedy, accessed via Ancestry.com, March 28, 2012
  10. ^ Obituary, Walter L. Kennedy, Sarasota Herald Tribune, January 22, 1997
Political offices
Preceded by
John S. Burgess
Speaker of the Vermont House of Representatives
1971 – 1975
Succeeded by
Timothy J. O'Connor, Jr.