John F. Kennedy

John F Kennedy

Born: May 29, 1917 in Brookline, MA
Died: Nov 22, 1963 (at age 46) in Dallas, TX
Nationality: American
Famous For: 35th President of the USA
Awards: Purple Heart, American Campaign Medal, World War II Victory Medal

Commonly called “Jack,” or referred to by his initials JFK, John Fitzgerald Kennedy became the 35th U.S. President on January 20, 1961. His term lasted until November of 1963 when he was killed by an assassination.

Early Years

Born on May 29, 1917, John F. Kennedy was the second son born to Joseph Kennedy and his wife, Rose. Both of John Kennedy’s grandparents were politicians. His maternal grandfather was once Boston’s mayor.

After relocating from Brookline, MA, to New York, he still spent much of his youth in Hyannis Port, MA, at the family’s summer home.

“Jack” enrolled at Harvard University in the fall of 1936. He would subsequently graduate in 1941 with a Bachelor of Science cum laude in international affairs.

Military Service

Commanding Officer Kennedy distinguished himself with his military service during World War II. His actions saved the lives of many crew members aboard the PT-109 (Patrol Torpedo Boat) when it was sunk by a Japanese destroyer.

Early Career in Politics

He would later go on to a career in politics as part of an influential and prominent Democratic Massachusetts family. He was a congressman in the House of Representatives from 1947 to 1953 and a U.S. Senator from 1953 to 1960 when he ran for President against Richard Nixon. Upon his victory, he became the youngest person to ever be elected to the office.

Leadership as President

President Kennedy took the oath of office as the 35th United States President on January 20, 1961. His vice-president was Lyndon B. Johnson of Texas.

Just three months after of assuming the presidency, Kennedy ordered an invasion of Cuba that became known as the “Bay of Pigs.” Its intent was to overthrow Cuban dictator, Fidel Castro. However, Castro’s forces prevailed and this became the greatest embarrassment of the Kennedy regime.

In October of 1962, President Kennedy’s finest leadership moment occurred with his handling of the Missile Crisis in Cuba. It was discovered by aerial surveillance that the Soviet Union was transporting missiles to Cuba which would have presented imminent danger of strikes aimed at the United States.

In an international showdown with Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev, the U.S. President did not waver on his order to stop all ships en route to Cuba for the purpose of removing all offensive weapons that may be discovered onboard. Following 13 days of “cat and mouse” maneuvering of ships in the Atlantic Ocean and tense negotiations and correspondence between the two, Khrushchev relented and agreed to remove any missiles present on the island and cease future shipments immediately.

Kennedy’s Death and Legacy

On November 22, 1963, President Kennedy, accompanied by his wife, Jacqueline, made a political visit to Dallas, TX. The scheduled festivities included a motorcade from Love Field Airport to the Trade Mart where the President was to give a speech.

As the car he was in, along with Jacqueline and Texas Governor John Connolly and his wife, moved through an area of tall buildings called Dealey Plaza, shots rang out. JFK was struck in the head and died at Parkland Memorial Hospital a short time later. While many conspiracy theories last to this day, it is believed the assassination was the act of a lone gunman, Lee Harvey Oswald.

He was survived by his wife and two children, Caroline and John Jr.