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Julia Stimson Thorne (September 16, 1944 – April 27, 2006) was an American writer and the first wife of former U.S. Senator and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.

Julia Thorne
Second Lady of Massachusetts
In role
March 6, 1983 – January 2, 1985
GovernorMichael Dukakis
Preceded bySusan Dwight (1975)
Succeeded byJan Cellucci (1991)
Personal details
Julia Stimson Thorne

(1944-09-16)September 16, 1944
New York City, New York, U.S.
DiedApril 27, 2006(2006-04-27) (aged 61)
Concord, Massachusetts, U.S.
Cause of deathBladder cancer
John Kerry
(m. 1970; div. 1988)

Richard Charlesworth (m. 1997)
ChildrenAlexandra Kerry
Vanessa Kerry
RelativesDavid Thorne (twin brother)


Early lifeEdit

Thorne was born in New York City, the daughter of Alice Smith (Barry) and Landon Ketchum Thorne, Jr. Her maternal great-grandfather was journalist David S. Barry and her paternal great-great-grandfather was Alfred Lebbeus Loomis, a physician who served as president of the Association of American Physicians. Her brothers are Landon Ketchum Thorne III of Beaufort, South Carolina, and her twin brother David Thorne of Brookline, Massachusetts. She spent much of her childhood in Rome and attended the international school, Marymount in Rome while her brother David attended the Overseas School of Rome. Her father had been appointed to a diplomatic post and was publisher of The Voice of the Daily American. 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 in Bay Shore, New York, 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. She and John had two daughters together:

During their marriage, Julia 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 two had an amicable relationship.[1]

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.

Kerry's 2004 presidential campaignEdit

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


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) (ISBN 0-06-096977-6) and A Change of Heart: Words of Experience and Hope for the Journey Through Divorce (1996) (ISBN 0-06-095105-2).


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


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. Thorne was also a distant cousin of John Kerry through their common ancestor Elizabeth Fones.


  1. ^ "Madame Ex". Archived from the original on November 23, 2005. Retrieved April 29, 2006.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link); The Washingtonian; July 1996

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