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27 S LAVERY : A MER I CA S F ATAL C OMPROMI SE

JOAN KENNEDY TAYLOR

1926-2005

An Appreciation

Born in 1926 in New York City, Joan Kennedy Taylor was the daughter of the noted American composer and music critic, Deems Taylor, and of the Broadway actress and poet, Mary Kennedy – both of whom were among the colorful artists who populated the Algonquin Round Table group of that era. Given such parents, her early interest in the theater and leading a footloose bohemian lifestyle was appealing.

While at Barnard College Joan had thought to pursue an acting career. This interest grew naturally out of her childhood experiences – although it would have been clear to all who knew her later that Joan was meant for a steadier path in life. There she met Donald Cook, a psychology major at Columbia – destined to be the father of her son, Michael. Donald and Joan were married in 1948, and while Donald was teaching Joan gained some supporting roles

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