Elected in 1960 together the 35th president of the joined States, 43-year-old man F. Kennedy came to be one that the youngest U.S. Presidents, and the first Roman Catholic. He was born right into one of America’s wealthiest families and parlayed an upstream education and also a reputation together a military hero into a effective run for Congress in 1946 and also for the Senate in 1952. As president, Kennedy challenged mounting Cold war tensions in Cuba, Vietnam and also elsewhere. He likewise led a renewed drive for public service and also eventually listed federal support for the cultivation civil rights movement. His assassination top top November 22, 1963, in Dallas, Texas, sent out shockwaves roughly the world and turned the all-too-human Kennedy right into a larger-than-life heroic figure. To this day, historians continue to rank him amongst the best-loved presidents in American

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John F. Kennedy’s early Life

Born on may 29, 1917, in Brookline, Massachusetts, man F. Kennedy (known as Jack) was the second of ripe children. His parents, Joseph and Rose Kennedy, to be members of 2 of Boston’s most prominent Irish Catholic politics families. Regardless of persistent health difficulties throughout his childhood and also teenage years (he would later on be diagnosed through a rarely endocrine disorder called Addison’s disease), Jack led a privileged youth, attending exclusive schools such together Canterbury and also Choate and also spending summers in Hyannis port on Cape Cod. Joe Kennedy, a hugely successful businessman and an early supporter of Franklin D. Roosevelt, was appointed chairman of the Securities and also Exchange board of directors in 1934 and in 1937 was named U.S. Ambassador to great Britain. Together a student at Harvard University, Jack traveled in Europe as his father’s secretary. His senior thesis around British’s unpreparedness for war was later on published as an acclaimed book, “Why England Slept” (1940).

Did you know? John F. Kennedy's Senate career obtained off to a rocky start once he refused to condemn city council Joseph McCarthy, a personal friend the the Kennedy family members whom the Senate voted come censure in 1954 because that his relentless quest of doubt communists. In the end, despite he planned come vote against McCarthy, Kennedy to let go the vote once he to be hospitalized after back surgery.

Jack joined the U.S. Marine in 1941 and also two years later on was sent out to the southern Pacific, wherein he was provided command that a Patrol-Torpedo (PT) boat. In august 1943, a Japanese destroyer struck the craft, PT-109, in the Solomon Islands. Kennedy helped some of his marooned crew back to safety, and also was vested the Navy and also Marine Corps Medal for heroism. His enlarge brother, Joe Jr., was not so fortunate: he was eliminated in respectable 1944 when his Navy aircraft exploded top top a mystery mission against a German rocket-launching site. A grieving Joe Sr. Called Jack it to be his duty to fulfill the destiny once intended for Joe Jr.: to come to be the first Catholic president of the united States.

JFK’s beginnings in national politics

Abandoning plans to be a journalist, Jack left the marine by the end of 1944. Less than a year later, the was ago in Boston preparing because that a run for conference in 1946. As a middle conservative Democrat, and also backed through his father’s fortune, Jack won his party’s nomination handily and also carried the greatly working-class Eleventh district by practically three come one end his Republican opponent in the general election. He entered the 80th congress in January 1947, at the age of 29, and also immediately attracted attention (as fine as some criticism from older members that the Washington establishment) for his youthful appearance and also relaxed, informal style.

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Kennedy won reelection come the house of to represent in 1948 and 1950, and in 1952 ran successfully for the Senate, defeating the renowned Republican incumbent Henry Cabot Lodge Jr. Top top September 12, 1953, Kennedy married the beautiful socialite and also journalist Jacqueline (Jackie) Lee Bouvier. Two years later, he was compelled to undergo a painful operation on his back. When recovering from the surgery, Jack wrote another best-selling book, Profiles in Courage, which winner the Pulitzer Prize for biography in 1957. (The book was later revealed come be mostly the occupational of Kennedy’s longtime aide, Theodore Sorenson.)

Kennedy’s roadway to Presidency

After nearly earning his party’s nomination for vice chairman (under Adlai Stevenson) in 1956, Kennedy announced his candidacy for president top top January 2, 1960. He beat a primary challenge from the more liberal hobtration Humphrey and also chose the Senate bulk leader, lyndon Johnson the Texas, as his to run mate. In the basic election, Kennedy confronted a an overwhelming battle versus his Republican opponent, Richard Nixon, a two-term vice president under the famous Dwight D. Eisenhower. 

Offering a young, energetic alternate to Nixon and also the status quo, Kennedy benefited native his performance (and telegenic appearance) in the first-ever televised debates, watched by numerous viewers. In November’s election, Kennedy won by a small margin–less 보다 120,000 out of part 70 million votes cast–becoming the youngest man and the first Roman Catholic to be chosen president that the unified States.