Dukakis (left) in 1987
December 26, 1936
|Spouse(s)||John Chaffetz (?–?)
Michael Dukakis (1963–present)
|Parent(s)||Harry Ellis Dickson
Life and career
Dukakis was born Katharine Dickson in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the daughter of Jane (née Goldberg) and Harry Ellis Dickson. Her paternal grandparents were Russian Jews; her mother was born to an Irish Catholic father and a Hungarian Jewish mother, and had been adopted by a family of German Jewish descent. Dukakis' father was a member of the first violin section of the Boston Symphony Orchestra for 49 years and also served as Associate Conductor of the Boston Pops Orchestra. At age 19, she dropped out of college to marry John Chaffetz. They had one son, John. The marriage did not last and she moved to Brookline. Dukakis received her B.A. from Lesley College in 1963, the same year she married Michael Dukakis. She received a M.A. degree from Boston University School of Communication in 1982.
During the 1988 presidential election, a number of false rumors were reported in the media about the Dukakises, including the claim by Idaho Republican Senator Steve Symms that Katharine Dukakis had burned a United States flag to protest the Vietnam War. Republican strategist Lee Atwater was accused of having initiated these rumors.
In 1989, Dukakis was briefly hospitalized after drinking rubbing alcohol. In 1991, Dukakis published her memoir, Now You Know, in which she candidly discussed her ongoing battle with alcoholism. The book also discussed the pressures of being a political wife, and her disappointment over her husband's defeat in the 1988 election. In the mid-90s, Dukakis graduated from Boston University with a master's degree in Social Work, successfully performing her practicum at Charles River Hospital in Wellesley, MA. In 2006, she revealed having undergone electroconvulsive therapy treatment beginning in 2001 in order to treat major depression, publishing her experiences in the book Shock.
Dukakis appears in the 2008 documentary on Lee Atwater, Boogie Man: The Lee Atwater Story.
- Now You Know. Simon & Schuster. 1991. ISBN 0-671-74179-9.
- Shock: The Healing Power of Electroconvulsive Therapy. Avery. 2006. ISBN 1-58333-265-0. Cowritten with Larry Tye.
Dukakis has served on the President's Commission on the Holocaust, on the United States Holocaust Memorial Council, on the board of the Refugee Policy Center, and on the Task Force on Cambodian Children.
- Ann Egerton (1990-10-21). "Kitty Dukakis' memoir has a sad and ragged quality". Baltimore Sun. Archived from the original on 2012-09-25. Retrieved 2016-05-27.
- Drogin, Bob (May 25, 1987). "Dukakis Draws Heavy Crowds, Money, Press". Los Angeles Times.
- The New York Times Harry Ellis Dickson obituary, April 2, 2003
- Romano, Lois (July 21, 1988). "John Dukakis And the Man Who Raised Him". The Washington Post. Retrieved November 8, 2014 – via HighBeam Research. (subscription required (. ))
- "Kitty Dukakis stylish half of political team". Milwaukee Sentinel. AP. 1988-05-27. Retrieved 29 August 2012.
- "Story on Mrs. Dukakis Is Denied by Campaign". New York Times. 1988-08-26. Retrieved 2016-05-27.
Michael Dukakis's Presidential campaign, responding to comments by Senator Steve Symms, an Idaho Republican, issued a statement Wednesday saying any suggestion that Kitty Dukakis had ever burned an American flag was totally false and beneath contempt.
- Susan Estrich (2004-09-04). "Lies move Democrats to dig up dirt". Myrtle Beach Sun. Archived from the original on 2004-09-17. Retrieved 2016-05-27.
Or how about the one about Kitty Dukakis burning a flag at an anti-war demonstration, another out-and-out lie, which the Bush campaign denied having anything to do with, except that it turned out to have come from a United States senator via the Republican National Committee? Atwater later apologized to me for that, too, on his deathbed.
- "Kitty Dukakis Recovering". The New York Times. Associated Press. November 11, 1989. Retrieved 2007-10-11.
- "Kitty Dukakis Treatment Center to Open". Boston University School of Public Health. September 21, 2007. Retrieved 2007-10-11.
- "George Bush: Appointment of Katharine D. Dukakis as a Member of the United States Holocaust Memorial Council". Presidency.ucsb.edu. Retrieved 2015-04-05.
- "Appointment of Katharine D. Dukakis as a Member of the United States Holocaust Memorial Council 1989-12-19", George Bush Presidential Library and Museum, College Station, Texas. A short profile of her education and career
- Dukakis, Kitty; Tye, Larry, 'I Feel Good, I Feel Alive', Newsweek, September 18, 2006. An article in which she discusses her treatment with electroconvulsive therapy for depression
- Kitty Dukakis appears in the Lee Atwater documentary Boogie Man: The Lee Atwater Story
|First Lady of Massachusetts
|First Lady of Massachusetts
Susan Roosevelt Weld
|Wife of the Democratic Presidential Nominee