By Bryan Bender, Globe Staff
One figure that also looms large in the FBI's files on the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy is his father.
The documents, covering 1961 to 1985, reveal at least several episodes in which the Kennedy patriarch, Joseph P. Kennedy, used his influence to aide the political career of his youngest son and protect his reputation.
In one bureau memo, dated Jan. 24, 1961, the elder Kennedy, a movie mogul, financier and former US ambassador to Great Britain, is reported to have used an emissary to "confidentially advise" the Justice Department that he was interested in placing "Teddy" in the position of assistant district attorney for Suffolk County, a position he briefly held before running for then-President kennedy's vacact US senate seat.
The individual who made the report to the FBI, whose named was blacked out by the FBI, also "advised he heard statements attributed the the President that he was not satisfied with political conditions int he Democratioc Party in Massachusetts and surmised that the president was using this way to get 'Teddy' into politics."
Nearly a decade earlier, Kennedy's father, whose reputation of being ruthless was widely known, contacted a senior bureau official when he heard a newspaper reporter Drew Pearson was planning to write that Teddy was not allowed to serve at a particular Army base because an FBI report linked him to a group of "pinkos," slang for communists.
The bureau's May 11, 1954, record of the communcation said that "Mr. Kennedy stated he had sent word to Pearson that he would sue him for libel if he printed so much as one word of this in that he would not tolerate his son being victimized in any form."
About Political Intelligence
Glen Johnson is Politics Editor at boston.com and lead blogger for "Political Intelligence." He moved to Massachusetts in the fourth grade, and has covered local, state, and national politics for over 25 years. E-mail him at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.