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John Kerry Biography

Nilesh Parekh May 10, 2019
One of the most discussed upon person who was in spotlight during the presidential elections in America, John Kerry was born on December 11, 1943 at Fitzsimons Army Hospital in Colorado. Read ahead to know more.


He is the second of four children born to Richard Kerry (who served US Air Force and worked as an Army Air Corps Test Pilot during World War II), and Rosemary, who was an environmentalist, community activist, and a Girl Scout Leader. John spent early years of his childhood in Massachusetts, where his family had moved some time after he was born.
His parents played an important role in developing his character. He served as an altar boy in the Catholic Church at Massachusetts. As his family often shifted from one place to another, John attended more than one school in his childhood. He attended St. Albans School in Washington D.C., Swiss boarding school Fessenden School in West Newton, etc.
In 1962, he graduated from St. Paul's School in Concord, New Hampshire. While at St. Paul's, Kerry's great-aunt, Clara Winthrop (who had no children), incurred tuition fees for Kerry, as his father's economic condition did not allow him to do so.

Interest in Politics

As his father was serving the US government, right from his childhood John had developed interest in politics, and started learning public speaking skills like developing public relation, etc., the result of which was the John Winant Society, which he had established in 1959 to debate on one particular topic every day when he was at St. Paul's.
He actively participated in games like ice hockey, lacrosse, etc., and also played electronic bass for the band of his school. During his graduation, as he had grown interest in politics, he took active participation in many campaigns, and in the 1960 presidential elections, he gave a political speech (first time in his life) in support of John F. Kennedy.
He also had a few chances to meet John F. Kennedy in person, and spent some time with him in 1962. In the year 1962, Kerry enrolled his name in Yale University for further studies. While at Yale, Kerry played for the hockey, soccer, lacrosse, and fencing teams. He also took flying lessons during his curriculum.
To support himself, he took up a job of loading trucks at a grocery warehouse, and worked as a door-to-door salesman. At Yale, Kerry continued his involvement in politics, and gained a prominent position in the political field. He was selected as a President of The Yale Political Union, and he also took part in many movements.
During his graduation period, he gained popularity for the public speeches he gave, and was given many opportunities to speak live in front of the public. he completed his graduation (B.A.) from Yale University, with a major in 'Political Science', in 1966.

Defense Service

After graduation, Kerry served in the United States Navy during the Vietnam War, from 1966 to 1970. He served as a Lieutenant, and was honored with many medals, such as the Silver Star, Purple Hearts, and Bronze Star, for the display of bravery and other important skills.
After getting third-time wounded, as a war policy, he was sent back to the US, and was released from service in 1970. After coming back from the War, Kerry joined a group 'Vietnam Veterans Against The War', a group of about 20,000 people who were against the Vietnam War.
In April end, 1971, he was the first veteran to testify before Congress about the war, and he spoke for about 2 hours. He put forward views of VVAW, presented suggestions/proposals on ending the war, etc., in front of the Senate Committee. For the next few years, he worked for VVAW, campaigned for it protesting against US Foreign Policies and War Policies.
For the next few years, he worked for VVAW and campaigned for it protesting against US Foreign Policies and War Policies.

Switch to Active Politics

In 1972, Kerry decided to jump into the political field, and filled in a nomination for the general elections. He gave a tough fight to all those who were contending for the post. Ultimately, after a series of ups and downs, he lost the elections to Cronin.
In September 1973, John enrolled his name at Boston Law School at Newton in Massachusetts. In 1974, while his study still going on, he was nominated as Executive Director of Mass Action (for an Advocacy Association in Massachusetts). In 1976, he received a degree in law from Boston.
After completing his degree course, he joined as a prosecutor in the office of the District Attorney of Middlesex County, John J. Droney. John was promoted to the post of First Assistant District Attorney in 1977, from which he resigned after two years to set up his own private law firm.
After a few years, in 1982, Kerry fought elections for the post of Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts, which he won by a very close margin. In 1984, he filled nominations for the US Senator post from Massachusetts, after Senator Paul Tsongas had declared his retirement.
Kerry won the seat and was sworn in for the same in 1985. From there onwards, he continually marked his presence in public politics in one or another issue. He played key roles in many political situations to bring about a final solution to the problems.
Many a time, he was made head of various commissions and committees, which were formed to investigate political matters. During this time (around 1992), he also played an important role in exposing a Pakistan based bank and its connections with terrorist groups.
By the year 2000, John Kerry had gained a very high position in US politics, and was considered as one of the contenders for the post of the President. Kerry filled his nomination for the presidential elections of 2000 and 2004, in which he gave a tough fight to George Bush.
In the 2004 elections, he won about 48% of popular votes (about 58 million votes), but lost to Bush (both the times 2000 and 2004) by a very small margin. He served as the US Secretary of State from February 1, 2013 to January 20, 2017, succeeding Hillary Clinton. In 2018, he published his book Every Day Is Extra, about his life and career in government.