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Percy Rockwell Kent

Percy Rockwell Kent (1900-1947) was the son of Percy and Frances Frost Kent, and a first cousin to Alice Kent Stoddard Pearson, as well as, Rockwell Kent (1882-1971). Percy unleashed confusion upon Kent genealogists when he decided to drop his Christian name in favor of his middle, Rockwell. According to his mother, in a letter to Kent, she stated that her son "hated to be called 'Percy'...because at Pawling [the school he attended] a big, fat Negro, who waited on the boys, was named 'Percy'." Kent, however, gloated when he informed his aunt that "a Negro friend of mine named one of his sons Rockwell, after me." Percy Rockwell Kent was a vice president of the Bank of the Manhattan Company in New York when he died. He was a graduate of Williams College, and later touted his memberships in the Apawamis and Shenorock Yacht Clubs of Rye, NY.

In a letter to The Publisher's Weekly, that clarifies the existence of two related "Rockwell Kents," Kent, the artist, stated, "For heaven's sake get rid of that 'Percy' that you've stuck in front of my name. Percy Rockwell Kent-so christened, is a younger cousin of mine whom I haven't seen since he was a most objectionable little boy." Percy and Frances Kent had three children, Nancy (Mrs. Herbert Holden), Richard Travis, and Peter Rockwell. In telephone conversations with two of Percy and Dorothy Kent's three children - Nancy and Richard T. - they state that they have no knowledge of their father ever having dabbled in poetry and art.

Copyright Scott R. Ferris


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