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  Thorne, Julia
NameJulia Thorne
, Massachusetts , United States
Born September 16, 1944
DiedApril 27, 2006 (61 years)
ContributorThomas Walker
Last ModifedThomas Walker
Jul 30, 2008 01:17pm
InfoJulia Stimson Thorne (September 16, 1944 – April 27, 2006) was a writer and the first wife of U.S. Senator John Kerry.

Thorne was born in New York City. She was the daughter of Alice Smith Berry and Landon Ketchum Thorne, Jr. Her brothers are Landon Ketchum Thorne III of Beaufort, South Carolina and her twin brother David Hoadley Thorne of Brookline, Massachusetts. She spent much of her childhood in Italy, where her father had been appointed to a diplomatic post and was publisher of the Rome Daily Herald. She attended the Foxcroft School in Middleburg, Virginia. She took classes at the New York School of Interior Design and Radcliffe College.

Thorne met Kerry in 1963 at her family's estate on Long Island. Kerry was a Yale classmate of Thorne's twin brother David. Thorne married Kerry on May 23, 1970 and divorced on July 25, 1988, after a six-year separation. They have two children together, Alexandra Kerry (born 1973) and Vanessa Kerry (born 1976). During their marriage, Thorne began showing signs of depression and later wrote that she had at one time contemplated suicide. She overcame depression by 1990, and by all accounts the couple had an amicable relationship.

She married Richard J. Charlesworth in 1997 and they moved to Bozeman, Montana. On May 7, 1997, two years after his remarriage, Kerry publicly announced that he had requested an annulment from the Roman Catholic Church of his marriage to Thorne.

She endorsed Kerry's 2004 presidential campaign, stating, "I think he is an immensely talented statesman, and I am 100 percent behind him".

She did, however, express concern about protecting her privacy, and stated that she hoped the couple's daughters would not become too involved in public life.

She was the author of the books You Are Not Alone: Words of Experience and Hope for the Journey Through Depression (1993) (with Larry Rothstein) and A Change of Heart: Words of Experience and Hope for the Journey Through Divorce (1996).

She was being treated for transitional-cell carcinoma, a form of cancer. Thorne died of bladder cancer in Concord, Massachusetts.

After Thorne's death following a long battle with cancer, Kerry released the following statement:

"Julia was the best mother two daughters could ask for. She always put our kids ahead of everything. She was completely committed to them and their future. Julia fought a hugely courageous fight against cancer and she passed away with the same grace with which she lived. Everyone who knew her will miss her beyond words".

Julia Thorne was a direct eleventh generation descendant of John Bowne, a defiant activist in the struggle for religious freedom. William Thorne Sr., third signatory of the Flushing Remonstrance is also an ancestor.



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Start Date End Date Type Title Contributor

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Husband John Kerry May 23, 1970-Jul 25, 1988
Daughter Alexandra Kerry 1973-
Daughter Vanessa Kerry 1976-
Father Landon K. Thorne Jr. 1913-1980
Brother David H. Thorne 1944-
Mother In-Law Rosemary Forbes Kerry 1913-2002