by Kathy Whelan Giordano
Eighty-nine years ago the Doherty family on Washington Street was blessed with a baby boy who they called Gerard. Looking back now, what a remarkable event this was for Charlestown and America. This Irish kid who loved to play football, suffered through dyslexia in grade school and the bullying it caused and tuberculosis during his college years, overcoming both, he claims, through the help of his many neighborhood friends, teachers physicians.
Gerry graduated from St. Mary’s Grammar School, Malden Catholic High School, Harvard University and Suffolk Law School. Quite an accomplishment for a lad who suffered with dyslexia and a life threatening disease. That onto itself is an inspirational story, but that’s only where it began.
Encouraged by his experiences with politics and his many friends, after graduation from Harvard, Gerry ran for the State Representative seat for Charlestown, won and served for two terms while earning his law degree. He then ascended to lead the Democratic Party in the Commonwealth for many years, meanwhile building his own law firm.
Along the way, Gerry’s warm and engaging personality won him many new friends while never forgetting those he kept along the way, best of all, he admits, was meeting his wife Marilyn (Dillon) who he married in 1942. Among these new friends were a trio of brothers named Jack, Bobby and Ted who were also politically inclined. Their legendary friendships were historic and remembered in Gerry’s newly released book, They Were My Friends – Jack, Bob and Ted, My Life In and Out of Politics.
On Thursday, November 30th, starting at 7 pm, Gerry Doherty will be welcoming his old and new friends to the K of C Hall on Medford Street to listen and answer questions on his life’s experiences as captured in the book. Through him you’ll be able to recall the Charlestown of the 30’s, 40’s, 50th and 60’s; learn what it was like to rub shoulders with the most powerful men in America and the world; and hear of the friendships he made along the way. The evening will include an opportunity to meet and greet and have books signed by the author. All are welcome.