Family and Lineage
John Fitzgerald Kennedy, popularly known as JFK, was born on May 29, 1917 in Brookline, Massachusetts, into a rich and political Irish American family with nine siblings. His father Joseph Kennedy was the head of the SEC (U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission) and Ambassador to Great Britain and his mother Rose Fitzgerald was a Boston socialite.
JFK was named in honor of his grandfather, John Francis Fitzgerald a very influential man in politics. He belonged to a wealthy family that owned a number of homes and a summer home in Cape Cod. JFK lived on 83 Beals Street, Brookline, Massachusetts.
Inspired by his father he entered politics in 1946 and was elected as a Democrat to the US House of Representatives. Following this victory, he paved his way to the Senate in 1952. In 1960, at forty three years of age, JFK won the presidential nomination election and became the youngest ever president to be elected to office. He was also the first Roman Catholic leader of the country.
JFK later married Jacqueline Lee Bouvier, a wealthy socialite and photographer, on September 12,1953 in New Port, Rhode Island at St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church. He sired three children; Caroline Bouvier Kennedy, John Fitzgerald Kennedy Jr., and Patrick Bouvier Kennedy, who survived for just two days after his birth.
Life Before His Presidency
A Gemini, John F. Kennedy, aka Jack, was the first president of the USA to be born in the 20th century. He attended many private schools including Choate, the famous prep school, when he was young. He majored in Political Science from Harvard University. After his graduation in 1940, he served as the Navy Commander, in the Pacific during World War Two.
'Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country', this was the famous quote that shot JFK to popularity. An author before being elected President, he wrote the book 'Profiles in Courage' for which he won the Pulitzer Prize. JFK, an avid reader, was a big fan of James Bond and read Ian Fleming's books.
He was a war hero and rescued six of his crewmen from being killed when the PT boat, they were traveling in, was destroyed by the Japanese.
After JFK retired from the military service as a full lieutenant in March 1945, he worked for a newspaper for several months writing about the United Nations Conference on International Organization in San Francisco, the Potsdam Conference and the British elections of 1945.
During his senior year at Harvard, JFK wrote a thesis called 'Why England Slept', a critical view on England's military unpreparedness at the onset of the Second World War, which later was published as a book. He also wrote another book called 'The Strategy of Peace' in 1960.
Death and Interment
John F. Kennedy's successful three year term as President was abruptly ended by Lee Harvey Oswald on Friday November 22, 1963. JFK was murdered by the assassin's bullet, while riding a motorcade through Dealey Plaza in Dallas, Texas.
While riding in an open limousine, bullets were fired at JFK at 12.30 p.m., with two bullets injuring him fatally. He was immediately rushed to the Parkland Hospital where he was pronounced dead at around 1 p.m. His body, accompanied by his wife Jackie and his successor President Lyndon Johnson, was flown back to Washington, aboard Air Force One.
After the autopsy, performed at Bethesda Naval Hospital, JFK was finally laid to rest on Monday the 25th of November 1963, at Arlington National Cemetery. His killer was caught immediately, but was shot dead by Jack Ruby, a local nightclub owner, for reasons unknown. With his death, the reason behind John F. Kennedy's assassination still remains a mystery.
JFK liked sitting on his rocking chair while in The White House.
John F. Kennedy left leg was shorter than his right leg, he wore corrective shoes.
JFK owned a variety of pets ranging from cats, dogs and horses to canaries, parakeets, and hamsters.
John Kennedy was an optimistic leader and a true patriot at heart. He believed that problems could be solved, if one put his country before self.
The Peace Corps, a governmental organization devoted towards world peace and friendship, was pioneered by Kennedy in 1960.
John F. Kennedy was interested in sailing, swimming and in playing touch football.
JFK shared some coincidental facts with Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln was elected as President in 1860 while Kennedy entered office in 1960. Both of them had secretaries having each other's name. Lincoln had a secretary named Kennedy and Kennedy's secretary was called Lincoln. Both were succeeded by their vice-presidents and both were assassinated.
Though Kennedy was never religious, he attended confessions regularly. But he was constantly worried that some priest may recognize his voice and reveal to the world the things he confessed. He used to go to church with a group of Catholic Secret Service Men, so that he would not be recognized.
Kennedy never carried cash with him and he used to constantly borrow money from his friends to pay cab fares, restaurant checks, etc. Though Kennedy was wealthy he never made it a point to pay his friends back, leaving them irritated.
John Kennedy approved the Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba in 1961. In 1962 he blocked the Havana harbor and was instrumental in making the Soviets remove nuclear missiles from Cuban bases.
Kennedy was highly rated as President after the failure of Bay of Pigs, with 82% of the Americans rallying in support of their President. He was the most amazed and was heard saying, 'My God, it's as bad as Eisenhower. The worse I do the more popular I get.'