George Kennedy's interest in Norman Rockwell's art began when he was a "magazine boy," delivering The Saturday Evening Post to subscribers in a local neighborhood. "I was no more than ten or twelve," he remembers. "I saw the covers and my respect for Norman Rockwell began then."
George, who is on the Museum board of trustees, was born on May 30, 1926 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. During Officers Training for the Navy in World War II, he was assigned to Williams College which brought him to the Berkshires for the first time. He returned to Williams after the war to earn his degree in 1948. George and his wife Valerie moved to Winnetka in 1971 where he served as chief executive officer for International Minerals and Chemicals. He is also a founding managing partner of Berkshires Capital Investors. Eighteen years ago the Kennedys returned to Williamstown, bought a second home and now spend half of their time. Three of their four children live close enough for the Williamstown house to be the family's gathering place. The Kennedys have served and are serving on the boards of numerous cultural institutions in both Chicago and Williamstown including the Chicago Symphony, the Chicago Lyric Opera, the Institute for International Education, the Clark Art Museum, the Williamstown Theater Festival, and Williamstown Art Conservation.
George Kennedy never forgot his introduction to Norman Rockwell's art and the impression it made. He and Valerie visit the Norman Rockwell Museum often to see Rockwell's work and the special exhibits. He has a deep appreciation of all the Museum has accomplished and a strong interest and firm commitment to making those accomplishments endure. "Our appreciation for Norman Rockwell is borne out of our commitment and interest in cultural opportunities. We support any cultural organization that provides excellence in art and music. The Norman Rockwell Museum is one," he says. Determined to make a difference and to sustain the Museum's success, the Kennedys have bequeathed the Museum a generous grant through their charitable trust.
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