, Massachusetts , United States
|| December 26, 1936
|Last Modifed||Thomas Walker|
Aug 01, 2008 01:46pm
|Info||Katharine Dickson Dukakis (born December 26, 1936), known as Kitty Dukakis, is the wife of former Massachusetts governor and U.S. presidential candidate Michael Dukakis. |
Born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, she received her B.A. from Lesley College in 1963 and her M.A. from Boston University School of Communication in 1982. Mrs. Dukakis' father was Harry Ellis Dickson, First Violin in the Boston Symphony Orchestra for 49 years and later Associated Conductor for the Boston Pops.
During the 1988 presidential election, a number of false rumors were reported in the media about the Dukakises, including the claim by Idaho Republican Senator Steve Symms that Katherine Dukakis had burned an American flag to protest the Vietnam War. Republican strategist Lee Atwater was accused of having initiated these rumors.
In 1989, Dukakis was briefly hospitalized after drinking rubbing alcohol. In 1991, Dukakis published her memoir, Now You Know, in which she candidly discussed her ongoing battle with alcoholism. The book also discussed the pressures of being a political wife, and her disappointment over her husband's defeat in the 1988 election. In 2006, she revealed having undergone electroconvulsive therapy treatment beginning in 2001 in order to treat major depression, publishing her experiences in the book Shock.
In 2007, the Lemuel Shattuck Hospital in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts opened a center for addiction treatment named after Dukakis.
In June 2008, Jason Chaffetz, whose father was Dukakis' ex-husband and the father of her child John Dukakis, defeated U.S. Representative Chris Cannon in the Republican primary for Utah's 3rd congressional district.
Dukakis is Jewish, and had her husband been elected president, she would have become the nation's first Jewish First Lady.
Dukakis has served on the President's Commission on the Holocaust, on the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council, on the board of the Refugee Policy Center, and on the Task Force on Cambodian Children.