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Despite all his bravura and political showmanship, his coarse humour,* a great fixer, a downright trickster and grafter, yet with a genuine kindness that endeared him to vast swathes of Boston voters, James Michael Curley’s personal life was unusually tragic. Following the death of his first wife ‘ Mae’ (nee Herlihy), he remarried a widow, Gertrude Dennis with two sons. This was on the last day of his term as Governor of Massachusetts, January 7 1937, “ to give her at least one day as first lady of the Commonwealth.” Between his two wives he had nine children; but incredibly seven of them predeceased him.