Elected in 1960 as the 35th president of the United States, 43-year-old John F. Kennedy became probably the youngest male and also the very first Roman Catholic to carry that office.

He was born into one of America’s wealthiest families and parlayed an elite training and a good reputation as a military hero and made a profitable run for Congress in 1946 and for the Senate in 1952. As president, Kennedy confronted mounting Cold War tensions in Cuba, Vietnam and anywhere else. Also, he led a renewed drive for public service and ultimately provided federal support for the increasing civil rights campaign.

His assassination on November twenty two, Texas, in Dallas, 1963, sent shock waves all over the world and switched the all-too-human Kennedy into a larger-than-life heroic figure. To this particular day, historians remain to rank him among the best loved US presidents.

Born on May twenty nine, Massachusetts, in Brookline, 1917, John F. Kennedy (known as Jack) was the second of 9 kids. The parents of his, Joseph and Rose Kennedy, were members of 2 of Boston’s most prominent Irish Catholic political families.

Despite persistent health issues throughout the childhood of his and teenage years (he would afterwards be identified as having a rare endocrine disorder known as Addison’s disease), Jack led a privileged youth, attending private classes like Choate and Canterbury and investing summers in Hyannis Port on Cape Cod.

Joe Kennedy, a very effective businessman as well as an earlier supporter of Franklin D. Roosevelt, was appointed chairman of the Securities as well as Exchange Commission in 1934 and in 1937 was called U.S. ambassador to Great Britain. As a pupil at Harvard Faculty, Jack travelled in Europe as his father ‘s secretary. His senior thesis about British’s unpreparedness for war was later posted as an acclaimed book, “Why England Slept” (1940).

The U.S Navy was joined by Jack in 1941 and 2 years later was delivered to the South Pacific, exactly where he was provided command of a Patrol Torpedo (PT) boat. In August 1943, a Japanese destroyer struck the craft, PT 109, in the Solomon Islands. Kennedy helped several of his marooned crew back again to safety, and was given the Navy as well as Marine Corps Medal for heroism.

The older brother of his, Joe Jr., wasn’t as fortunate: He was murdered in August 1944 when his Navy airplane skyrocketed on a secret objective against a German rocket launching site. A grieving Joe Sr. told Jack it had been the duty of his to fulfill the destiny at one time designed for Joe Jr.: to turn into the very first Catholic president of the United States.


Abandoning plans to be a journalist, Jack left the Navy by the conclusion of 1944. Less than a year later on, he was back in Boston planning for a run for Congress in 1946. As a reasonably conservative Democrat, and backed by his father ‘s fortune, Jack won his party ‘s nomination handily and carried the mainly working class Eleventh District by almost 3 to 1 over the Republican opponent of his in the common election.

He entered the 80th Congress in January 1947, at the era of twenty nine, and quickly attracted interest (as well as some criticism from more mature members of the Washington establishment) for the youthful appearance of his and relaxed, casual style.

Reelection was won by Kennedy to the home of Representatives in 1948 as well as 1950, and also in 1952 ran successfully for the Senate, defeating the favorite Republican incumbent Henry Cabot Lodge Jr. On September twelve, 1953, Kennedy married the gorgeous socialite as well as journalist Jacqueline (Jackie) Lee Bouvier. 2 years down the line, he was pressured to go through a painful operation on the back of his.

While recovering from the surgery, Jack published another best selling book, “Profiles in Courage,” that received the Pulitzer Prize for biography in 1957. (The guide was eventually revealed to be mainly the job of Kennedy’s longtime aide, Theodore Sorenson.)


After almost generating his party ‘s nomination for vice president (under Adlai Stevenson) in 1956, Kennedy announced the candidacy of his for president on January two, 1960. He defeated a main challenge from the much more liberal Hubert Humphrey and selected the Senate majority leader, Lyndon Johnson of Texas, as the running mate of his. In the common election, Kennedy faced a tough fight against the Republican opponent of his, Richard Nixon, a two term vice president under the famous Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Offering a young, energetic way to Nixon as well as the status quo, Kennedy gained from the performance of his (and also telegenic appearance) in the first ever televised debates, viewed by large numbers of viewers. In November’s election, Kennedy won by a narrow margin less than 120,000 out of several seventy million votes cast becoming the youngest male and also the very first Roman Catholic to be elected president of the United States.

With the beautiful young wife of his and their 2 children that are small (Caroline, born in 1957, and John Jr., born only weeks after the election), Kennedy lent an unmistakable aura of glamour and youth to the White House. In the inaugural address of his, provided on January twenty, 1961, the brand new president called on his fellow Americans to come together in the goal of improvement and also the elimination of poverty, but also in the fight to gain the continuous Cold War against communism within the globe.

Kennedy’s popular closing words shown the demand for sacrifice and cooperation on the component of the American folks: “Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.”


An earlier crisis in the foreign affairs area taken place in April 1961, when Kennedy approved the program to send 1,400 CIA trained Cuban exiles in an amphibious landing at the Bay of Pigs in Cuba. Meant to spur a rebellion which would overthrow the communist leader Fidel Castro, the mission finished in failure, with almost all of the exiles shot or even killed.

That June, Kennedy greeted with Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev in Vienna to talk about the city of Berlin, which had been split after World War II between Allied and Soviet command. 2 weeks later, East German troops started erecting a wall to break down the city. Kennedy sent an army convoy to reassure West Berliners of U.S. assistance, and would send one of his most prominent speeches in West Berlin in June 1963.

Kennedy clashed once again with Khrushchev in October 1962 during the Cuban missile crisis. After learning that the Soviet Union was building a selection of long-range and nuclear missile sites in Cuba which could present a risk to the continental United States, Kennedy announced a naval blockade of Cuba. The tense standoff lasted close to 2 weeks before Khrushchev agreed to dismantle Soviet missile websites in Cuba in exchange for America’s promise not to invade and of U.S. missiles from other sites and Turkey close to Soviet borders.

In July 1963, Kennedy won his best overseas affairs victory when Khrushchev agreed to sign up for him and Britain’s Prime Minister Harold Macmillan in signing a nuclear test ban treaty. In Southeast Asia, nonetheless, Kennedy’s drive to change the spread of communism led him to escalate U.S. involvement in the conflict in Vietnam, even as privately he expressed the dismay of his over the circumstances.


During the first year of his in business, Kennedy oversaw the launch of the Peace Corps, that would transmit younger volunteers to underdeveloped countries around the globe. Or else, he was not able to attain a lot of his proposed legislation during the lifetime of his, including 2 of his greatest priorities: income tax cuts along with a civil rights bill.

Kennedy was slow to dedicate himself to the civil rights cause, but was ultimately pushed into action, delivering federal troops to help support the desegregation of the citizens of Mississippi after riots there left 2 dead and a lot others injured. The next summer, Kennedy announced the intention of his to suggest a comprehensive civil rights bill and backed the significant March on Washington that took put that August.

Kennedy was an extremely popular president, each at home and abroad, and his family drew popular comparisons to King Arthur’s court at Camelot. His brother Bobby served as the attorney general of his, while probably the youngest Kennedy son, Edward (Ted), was elected to Jack’s former Senate seat in 1962. Jackie Kennedy became a worldwide icon of style, sophistication and beauty, although accounts of her husband’s many marital infidelities (along with his private connection with members of organized crime) would afterwards come out to complicate the Kennedy’s idyllic picture.


On November twenty two, 1963, the president as well as his wife landed in Dallas. From the airfield, the party then traveled in a motorcade to the Dallas Trade Mart, the site of Jack’s up coming speaking engagement. Shortly after 12:30 p.m., as the motorcade was passing through downtown Dallas, shots rang out; Kennedy was struck twice, in the neck as well as head, and was pronounced dead shortly after arriving at a close by medical center.

Twenty-four-year-old Lee Harvey Oswald, known to have Communist sympathies, was arrested for the killing but was shot and fatally wounded 2 days later by regional nightclub owner Jack Ruby while being led to jail. Almost instantly, alternate theories of Kennedy’s assassination emerged including conspiracies run by the KGB, the Mafia and also the U.S. military industrial complex, among others. A presidential commission led by Chief Justice Earl Warren concluded that Oswald had acted on his own, though debate and speculation over the assassination has persisted.