Rosemary Kennedy's dad ordered her lobotomy to prevent pregnancy, new books claim

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Rosemary Kennedy Had Lobotomy to Prevent Pregnancy, Book Claims


Two new books shine a spotlight on the Kennedy family's darkest secret: Rosemary Kennedy.

"Rosemary: The Hidden Kennedy Daughter" and "The Missing Kennedy" give further insights into the oldest daughter in America's most storied family.

Read: Rosemary Kennedy's Forgotten Diaries

But her winning Kennedy smile hid a tragic fact - Rosemary's delivery at birth was botched by a nurse that resulted in brain damage.

See vintage photos of Rosemary Kennedy and her famous family:

Rosemary Kennedy
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Rosemary Kennedy's dad ordered her lobotomy to prevent pregnancy, new books claim
11th May 1938: Rose Kennedy (centre), wife of multi-millionaire and US ambassador to Britain Joseph Kennedy, and two of her daughters, Kathleen Kennedy (Marchioness of Hartington) and Rosemary Kennedy (right), leaving to be presented at Court. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - DECEMBER 01: Washington, December 1937. On the left: Joseph Patrick KENNEDY, his daughters Jean (age 9), Eunice (age 16) and Patricia (age 13). Behind them is John Fitzgerald KENNEDY (future president of the United States). On the right: Rose Fitzgerald KENNEDY with her sons and daughters, Joseph KENNEDY JR. (age 22), Rosemary (age 19), Robert (age 12) leaning on the chimney, Kathleen (age 17) and Edward (age 6). (Photo by Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images)
UNITED KINGDOM - JANUARY 01: Rosemary And Eunice Kennedy With Edward Moore On Arrival At Plymouth In 1938 (Photo by Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images)
Rosemary, John, Eunice, Joseph Jr, and Kathleen Kennedy, Hyannisport, Massachusetts, Summer 1925. (Photo by PhotoQuest/Getty Images)
Seated at right, American socialite and philanthrophist Rose Kennedy (1890 - 1995) poses with her children, from left, Joseph P Kennedy Jr (1915 - 1944), John F Kennedy (1917 - 1963), Kathleen Kennedy (1920 - 1948), Rosemary Kennedy (1918 - 2005), and Eunice Kennedy, Brookline, Massachussetts, 1921. (Photo by Bachrach/Getty Images)
Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr., is shown surrounded by his family. Clockwise, from bottom left: Robert, Eunice, John, Kathleen, Joe Jr., Rosemary, wife Rose, Teddy, Patricia and Jean. (AP Photo)
Here are the children of Joseph Kennedy, American Ambassador to the court of St. James, who with their parents attended the coronation of Pope Pius XII in Rome, Italy in 1939. The youngsters have been filling up their days with unescorted explorations of the eternal city. Here they are amid the ruins of the forum (L to R); Bobby, Eunice, Jean, Patricia, Rosemary and Teddy. (AP Photo)
Seven of the nine children of Ambassador and Mrs. Joseph Kennedy are shown (above) as they prepared to leave London, March 8, 1939 for Rome to witness papal coronation ceremonies, where their father was official U.S. representative. Left right they are: Robert, Patricia, Jean, Kathleen, Rosemary, Teddy, and Eunice. Unable to attend the ceremonies were Joseph Kennedy, Jr., who was in Madrid and John F. Kennedy, now an embassy clerk. (AP Photo)

People magazine features both books in this week's cover story on newsstands this Friday.

East coast editor, Liz McNeil of People told INSIDE EDITION: "When Rosemary was born, the nurse actually delayed her birth, waiting for the physician to arrive. Rosemary was deprived of oxygen which may have led to some of her disabilities later on in life."

Rosemary's erratic behavior worried her father Joe Kennedy Sr. who believed the stigma of mental illness in the family would ruin his plans to build a political dynasty,

"She had tantrums from time to time. Which some people think might have been her frustrations in not being able to keep up with her siblings. As she grew older, into her teen years, she stared to have more tantrums and that time she was hard to manage," McNeil said.

In her private diaries, written in her child-like hand, she writes about a date with a boy: "He gave me violets to pin on my coat. We went to the plaza. I had a grand time with him."

Her father worried that Rosemary might get pregnant and disgrace the family. So he had her secretly lobotomized. The surgery backfired and left her severely disabled.

From then on, Rosemary was hidden from public view and cared for by nuns at a private Catholic nursing home.

Read: Home Movie of JFK Assassination Remains Important Historical Artifact

Elizabeth Koehler-Pentacoff is author of The Missing Kennedy and she is actually the niece of the nun who looked after Rosemary.

"She never was allowed out publically," she told INSIDE EDITION.

She says family matriarch, Rose Kennedy, finally visited her daughter after 20 years but it was no happy reunion.

Koehler-Pentacoff said: "Her mother opened her arms wide for a hug when Rosie just experienced her frustration and started beating her chest as if to say: 'Where were you all of these years?'"

After Joe senior's death in 1969, Eunice Kennedy-Shriver brought her sister back into the family fold.

Eunice, the mother of Maria Shriver, founded the Special Olympics which she dedicated to Rosemary.

Also see photos of John F. Kennedy:

John F Kennedy (life)
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Rosemary Kennedy's dad ordered her lobotomy to prevent pregnancy, new books claim
1927: Headshot portrait of John F Kennedy (1917-1963) at age ten, standing outdoors and wearing a suit with his hair slicked back. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Future President of the United States of America, John F Kennedy (1917 - 1963) in London. (Photo by Evening Standard/Getty Images)
American statesman John F Kennedy, later the 35th President of the United States (right), with Mr Borhum at a garden party at the White House, Washington DC. (Photo by Fox Photos/Getty Images)
1st September 1939: Joe, Kathleen and John F Kennedy, the children of American Ambassador to Great Britain, Joseph P Kennedy, arriving at the Houses of Parliament in London. John later became the 35th President of the United States. (Photo by Fox Photos/Getty Images)
A photo dated 1950's shows John F. Kennedy with his wife Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy. (Photo credit should read AFP/AFP/Getty Images)
John Fitzgerald Kennedy (1917 - 1963), the American president sitting in a rocking chair. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)
Senator John F Kennedy seeking the Democratic nomination for the presidential elections, which he went on to win. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)
President John F. Kennedy speaks on the telephone August 23, 1962 in the Oval Office. (Photo by National Archive/Newsmakers)
Senator John F Kennedy (1917 - 1963) is given a rousing ovation during his presidential campaign. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)
U.S. Senator John F. Kennedy, D-Mass., and his bride, the former Jacqueline Lee Bouvier, cut their wedding cake during a reception following thier marriage Sept.12, 1953 at Newport, R.I. (AP Photo)
John F Kennedy (1917 - 1963), American president-elect, with his wife Jacqueline (1929 - 1994) at the christening of their son John F Jr. (1960 - 1999) in Washington. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)
President John F. Kennedy speaks to the AFL-CIO convention on Dec. 7, 1961 in Bal Harbour, Florida, where he said employment hit a new record in the month of November, Kennedy addressed the labor convention after making a talk at the Young Democrats convention at Miami Beach, Florida. (AP Photo)
U.S. President John F. Kennedy (1917 - 1963) holds his first press conference, Washington D.C., 28th January 1961. (Photo by Central Press/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
FILE - In this Aug. 7, 1960 file photo, Democratic presidential nominee Sen. John Kennedy and wife Jacqueline sit in their sailboat at Hyannis Port, Mass. The Kennedy image, the "mystique" that attracts tourists and historians alike, did not begin with his presidency and is in no danger of ending 50 years after his death. Its journey has been uneven, but resilient _ a young and still-evolving politician whose name was sanctified by his assassination, upended by discoveries of womanizing, hidden health problems and political intrigue, and forgiven in numerous polls that place JFK among the most beloved of former presidents.(AP Photo)
17th February 1961: Jacqueline Kennedy (1929 - 1994), wife of US President John F Kennedy, and daughter Caroline relax together at home. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)
1962: US statesman John F Kennedy, 35th president of the USA, making a speech. (Photo by Central Press/Getty Images)
US President John F Kennedy (1917 - 1963, left) with British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan (1894 - 1986) outside Government House in Hamilton, Bermuda, where they are holding talks, 22nd December 1961. (Photo by AFP/Getty Images)
President John F. Kennedy greets wellwishers after a speech May 8, 1963 at the White House. (Photo by National Archive/Newsmakers)
Little Caroline kisses her father John F. Kennedy, who is elected on November 9, 1960. Kennedy is not only the first Catholic in the White House, but also the youngest president in US history. (AP Photo) 1960
President John F. Kennedy smiles as he watches the annual Army-Navy game at Philadelphia Stadium, Dec. 2, 1961. He sat first on the Army side and then crossed over to the Navy side for the second half of the game, which Navy won, 13-7. (AP Photo)
Sen. John F. Kennedy, Democratic presidential candidate, and his wife, Jacqueline, pause to talk to crowd as they pass through the Wall Street area en route to City Hall in New York, Oct. 19, 1960. As Kennedy talked the crowd surged toward his car. At Mayor Wagner's suggestion, Sen. Kennedy spoke but briefly and motorcade proceeded up Broadway from City Hall. (AP Photo)
9th November 1960: Senator John F Kennedy, the Democratic candidate who has been elected president of the USA. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)
In this Nov. 13, 1963 file photo, U.S. President John F. Kennedy and first lady Jacqueline Kennedy sit with their children, John Jr. and Caroline, on a portico overlooking the White House South Lawn in Washington. In background is British Ambassador David Ormsby Gore. (AP Photo)
President John F. Kennedy is greeted by an enthusiastic crowd in front of the Hotel Texas in Fort Worth, Nov. 22, 1963. (AP Photo)
This Nov. 22, 1963 file photo shows President John F. Kennedy and his wife Jacqueline Kennedy upon their arrival at Dallas Airport, in Dallas, shortly before President Kennedy was assassinated. PBS says its fall schedule will include a variety of specials marking President John F. Kennedy's death 50 years ago. In the weeks leading up to the milestone anniversary of his Nov. 22, 1963, slaying in Dallas, PBS said it will air "JFK," a four-hour "American Experience" special. (AP Photo, file)
This Nov. 22, 1963 file photo shows President John F. Kennedy riding in motorcade with first lady Jacqueline Kenndy before he was shot in Dallas, Texas. (AP Photo, file)

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