American Dynasties: The Kennedys

American Dynasties: The Kennedys

The Miller Center's Barbara Perry is a featured expert on this CNN documentary series

Barbara Perry
Barbara Perry is the Gerald L. Baliles Professor, director of Presidential Studies, and co-chair of the Presidential Oral History Program at the Miller Center

Barbara Perry vividly remembers her first encounter with John F. Kennedy. "In October 1960 my mother loaded me and my two older brothers into our '56 Chevy for a trip to downtown Louisville, Kentucky, to attend a presidential campaign rally and see her new political hero—Senator John F. Kennedy. We arrived early and stood right in front of the podium where the handsome candidate spoke and reached over to shake my brother's hand. I was hooked!"

Nearly 60 years later, Perry has become one of the nation's foremost experts on the former president and his family (she humbly calls herself a "Kennedy buff"). And on Sundays through April 15, her expertise will be on full display as CNN broadcasts the six-part documentary American Dynasties: The Kennedys, which explores "how America's 'first family' has helped shape the politics of the nation, and influence national and global events." Perry is featured in all six episodes.

John f kennedy at lecturn
President John F. Kennedy returned to Louisville in October, 1962

Perry also appeared at a Smithsonian Associates insider event on March 8 in Washington, DC.

Perry is the author of books on Rose Kennedy and Jacqueline Kennedy Onasis as well as several works on the U.S. Supreme Court.

[Read more: 9 lesser-known facts about the Kennedy family]