Even with sons as revered and world-famous as John F. Kennedy and Robert Kennedy, Joseph P. Kennedy spent many of his 81 years away from the limelight. But a life lived in the shadows doesn’t necessarily have to be an unsuccessful one, as the Kennedy family patriarch definitively proved. In fact, over the decades, Joseph Sr. managed to build a substantial empire – and he did so by putting his money in a few surprising places.
What’s more, Joseph Sr. became extremely rich at a time when many others suffered greatly – during the Wall Street Crash of 1929 and the subsequent Great Depression. And from there, he began to invest his cash wisely – and perhaps illegally. Some say, for instance, that Joseph Sr. used Prohibition as an opportunity to make serious cash from bootlegging.