SUMMARY: John Fitzgerald Kennedy (May 29, 1917–November 22, 1963), 35th American President, served from 1961 until his assassination in 1963.
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John Fitzgerald Kennedy was the 35th President of the United States of America. He served as President from 1961 until his well known assassination in 1963. He was a military commander of the USS PT-109 during WWII after which his aspirations turned political. Because of circumstances around his death he was one of the most loved Presidents of the United States and continues to rank highly among public opinion ratings of former U.S. Presidents.
John F. Kennedy was the son of Joseph Patrick Kennedy and Rose Fitzgerald. He was born in Brookline, Massachusetts on May 29 1917. Kennedy’s father was a successful businessman who served as an ambassador to Great Britain from 1937 to 1940. Kennedy’s mother also came from a prominent political family. Kennedy’s grandfather on his mother’s side was a prominent Boston political figure who was the city’s mayor and a member of Congress. It seemed that John F. Kennedy had politics in his blood before he was even born. Living in Brookline during the first ten years of his life, he attended a public school called Edward Devotion School. He spent kindergarten through third grade here and then attended Noble and Greenough Lower School, and again moved to Dexter School, a private school for boys. In 1927 his family would move two times, once to a rented 20 room mansion in the Bronx, and again to a 21 room mansion on a six acre estate in Bronxville, New York.
As a young man he did many of the same things other young men did. He was a member of a Scout Troop from 1929 until 1931 and would soon be the first Scout to ever become President. He spent holidays with his family in many different vacation homes but his primary school years were spend at Riverdale Country School, a private school for boys in Riverdale (5th through 7th grade). The next year he was sent to Canterbury School which was 50 miles from his home. He would not stay for long though as he required an appendectomy and was sent home to recuperate. His years of education were spent in boarding schools until he fell ill in 1934 and was hospitalized in Rochester Minnesota for evaluation of Colitis. He graduated from Choate in June 1935 and was written as the “Most likely to become President” in his yearbook.
In 1936 he enrolled at Harvard College. His older brother also attended Harvard College. In 1937 he traveled to France with a friend and then in 1928 he sailed with his father and brother to SS Normandy. In 1939 Kennedy toured Europe, the Soviet Union, the Balkans, and The Middle East to gather information for his senior honors thesis. He was given many opportunities to hear political speeches, and visit many political and historical places and people. Kennedy graduated Cumme Laude from Harvard in 1940 and with the encouragement of his father; his Thesis was published in a book.
John F. Kennedy took a strong interest in foreign policy in 1951 and in 1952 was elected to the Senate. In 1953 he married Jacqueline Bouvier and over the next few years had four children. Two of those children, Caroline and John were the only ones to survive. Kennedy was a strong advocate of social welfare and civil rights legislation in the Senate and sponsored many bills providing Federal financial aid to education and immigration laws. In 1960 Kennedy entered the Presidential race as the representative for the Democratic Party. It was a controversial candidacy because of his Roman Catholic religion. He was the second youngest president in United States History and at his inaugural address on January 20 1961 he challenged the people to this famous statement, “Ask not what your country can do for you, but rather what you can do for your country.” During his presidency he faced many different obstacles. There was the “Bay of Pigs” disaster, and also the Cuban Missile Crisis.
On November 22 1963 President John F. Kennedy along with his party including his wife, Vice President, Governor, and Senator arrived in Dallas Texas. At about 12:30pm the presidential limousine entered Elm Street and soon thereafter shots rang out. President John F. Kennedy was assassinated and died at the hospital. Although his killer claims he was the only one involved with in the shooting, there is much speculation that there was more involved and the plot runs deeper than was originally thought.