John F. Kennedy

U.S. President

Born: 29 May 1917
Died: 22 November 1963 (assassination)
Birthplace: Brookline, Massachusetts
Best known as:

President of the United States, 1961-63

John F. Kennedy's 1963 assassination was one of the most shocking public events of the 20th century. John Kennedy served in the U.S. Navy during World War II, commanding the patrol boat PT-109 and leading his crew to rescue after the boat was sunk by the Japanese in the Solomon Islands. A Democrat, "JFK" was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from Massachusetts' 11th district in 1946. In 1952 he moved up to the U.S. Senate, defeating Henry Cabot Lodge. John Kennedy married Jacqueline Bouvier on 12 September 1953; they had two children, Caroline (b. 1957) and John Jr. (b. 1960). (A third child, Patrick, was born on 7 August 1963 and died two days later.) JFK was elected to replace President Dwight Eisenhower in 1960 (narrowly defeating Eisenhower's vice-president, Richard Nixon); he swept into office with a reputation for youthful charm, impatience, wit and vigor. John Kennedy's approach was sometimes called the New Frontier, a phrase he coined in his acceptance speech at the 1960 Democratic convention. John F. Kennedy was shot to death by sniper Lee Harvey Oswald during an open-car motorcade in Dallas, Texas on 22 November 1963; two days later, Oswald was shot and killed by another man, Jack Ruby. John Kennedy was succeeded by Lyndon Johnson.

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John F. Kennedy was sometimes called by his nickname, Jack... U.S. senators Ted Kennedy and the late Robert F. Kennedy are Kennedy's younger brothers... His son John Kennedy Jr. died in a 1999 private plane crash... His older brother Joe Kennedy Jr. and his sister Kathleen were also killed in plane crashes during the 1940s... His younger sister Eunice Kennedy Shriver founded the Special Olympics... John Kennedy's father Joseph Kennedy was a controversial businessman and former ambassador to Great Britain... Kennedy's maternal grandfather, John "Honey Fitz" Fitzgerald, was mayor of Boston...Kennedy suffered from back trouble for most of his adult life; the stiff-backed rocking chair he sometimes used in the Oval Office became a personal symbol... While recovering from two serious back operations, John Kennedy wrote Profiles in Courage, which won the 1957 Pulitzer Prize for biography... He also suffered from the glandular disorder Addison's Disease... Richard Nixon's running mate in 1960 was Henry Cabot Lodge, whom Kennedy defeated for senator in 1952... Kennedy attended the private school Choate and graduated from Harvard College in 1940... John Kennedy was America's first Catholic president.

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