John Fitzgerald Kennedy (Jack) was born in Brooklyn Massachusetts on May 29, 1917, to Joseph Kennedy and Rose Fitzgerald, who were the children of Patrick Kennedy and John Fitzgerald (Honey Fitz), whose parents both emigrated from Ireland in 1858. Honey Fitz was governor of Boston and served on the House of Representatives. Both men were influential in politics.
Joseph and Rose Kennedy had nine children: Joseph Jr., John, Rosemary, Kathleen, Eunice, Patricia, Robert, Jean, and Edward (Teddy). They set up a million dollar trust fund for each of their children for their education, so that they would never have to worry. This let them devote their lives to public good. The parents divided supper into two age groups. They ate at both, so that they could discuss important issues with each group. Their father had a motto, “Second place is a loser”. All the children loved sports except, Rosemary, who didn’t like rough play. Mrs. Kennedy took the children on long walks and to church each day.
John went to public schools as a young child, while later he went to private schools in Riverdale, New York and Wallingford, Connecticut. Then he went to Harvard. He was an excellent golfer, swimmer and overall athlete. During a football game, John injured his back.
Joe and John were very close. While young, Joe said he would be the president of the United States. The Kennedy family believed him. Mr. Kennedy was named the ambassador to Great Britain in 1937. While in England, John and his brother worked as international reporters for their father. The family returned home in 1939 and John graduated with honors in 1940. He wrote his graduating thesis and expanded it into a book Why England Slept.
A few months before the Pearl Harbor incident, John tried to enlist in the army, but because of his bad back, he was not accepted. He was let into the Navy, however. After exercise, he was commissioned as commander of a torpedo boat. In 1943, during a night operation, his boat was rammed and cut in half by a Japanese destroyer. John’s back was reinjured, but he gathered his crew and swam to a near by island. One of the crew was so badly injured that he had to be dragged and pulled. They swam for five hours. John was awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Medal and given the Purple Heart and a …
…To this day we do not know the motives of Oswald, or why Jack ruby killed him either. At 2:00 P.M on November 23, 1963, Lyndon Johnson was sworn in as President. Another tragedy struck the world as Robert Kennedy, John’s brother and adviser and Attorney General, was shot and killed while campaigning for presidential nomination on June 5, 1968.
John Fitzgerald Kennedy spent about 1000 days as President. He was an influential Senator, and a war hero. He was one if not the most loved Presidents, but he was also one of the most hated. The weirdest part about John was that if he had been reelected in 1964, he did not want JBJ as his vice-President, something that has never happened before. Another memorable thing about John, was that he was a father first, and a President second.
Bishop, Jim. The Day Kennedy Was Shot. New York: Funk and Wagnals, 1968
Colbert, David, ed. Eyewitness to America. New York: Panthon Books, 1997
Frisbee, Lucy Post. John Fitzgerald Kennedy: America’s Youngest President. New York: Bobbs-Merill Company, Inc., 1997 JFKlancer.com 1996-2000
Triumph of the American Nation . Orlando: Harcourt Bare Jovanovich, Inc.,1998